Mo. Bootheel Regional Consortium introduces new program | Community Spirit
(KFVS) - The Missouri Bootheel Regional Consortium, Inc. has introduced a new program for women and children in the Missouri Bootheel.
The Maternal and Child Health Demonstration Project is a 3- year grant funded program sponsored through the Missouri Foundation of Health, established to fill gaps in healthcare for women of reproductive age, 15-44, in the Missouri Bootheel.
The project will address both individual and environmental barriers to health care. Environmentally by helping organizations address social determinants to health care and individually through smoking cessation, obesity reduction, and healthy eating.
Scott, New Madrid, Mississippi, Pemiscot, and Dunklin counties in the Missouri Bootheel, are ranked among the lowest in the state in regards to overall health. These counties also lead the state in infant mortality, heart disease, smoking and lack of physical activity. The adult obesity rate in the Bootheel is at 32 percent while the childhood obesity rate has tripled to 17 percent in the last 10 years (CDC, 2010). African Americans have higher infant mortality rates and general poor health (US Office of Minority Health; Centers for Disease Control, 2010).
The bootheel has the third highest concentration of African Americans in the region after St. Louis and Kansas City. Poverty, environmental factors, community norms, and insurance coverage are major social determinants to health care in this region.
Research has indicated that a woman’s general health before she becomes pregnant will affect the birth outcomes of children she may have in the future. Thirty-three percent of women enrolled in the National Healthy Start Program are obese before they become pregnant and continue to gain weight after the pregnancy ends. The Maternal and Child Health Demonstration program has been established to improve the overall health of women ages 15-44, which will lead to healthier birth outcomes.
The program will offer health coaching, train the trainer trainings, and resource development for participating organizations. Also, assist organizations in implementing continuous improvement practices within their organization to understand and address barriers to health care including social determinants of healthcare and increasing access to healthcare among Missouri Bootheel women of reproductive age.
Potential outcomes for the program include; a systematic change in the way services are delivered to Missouri Bootheel women, improvement in access to healthcare; enhanced organizational efficiencies, increased access to information and increased positive healthy behaviors. The project will serve approximately 450 women over its life at a cost of $500,000.
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