HRSA Launches New ‘Enhancing Maternal Health Initiative’

By Joy Burkhard, MBA – Executive Director

Our work shaping and reporting on national mental health policy is made possible through a 2020-2023 capacity grant from the Perigee Fund.

On Jan 25, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Carole Johnson, joined by Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL), co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, launched a year-long Enhancing Maternal Health Initiative.

According to a press release, the initiative is focused on strengthening, expanding, and accelerating HRSA’s maternal health work with mothers, grantees, community organizations, and state and local health officials.

A kick-off event was held in Washington, DC, bringing together HRSA maternal health grantees from 11 states and the District of Columbia, as well providers, mothers, national organizations, and experts, who shared perspectives on the innovative ways HRSA grantees are making an impact on maternal health, including maternal mental health.

HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson said, “We are proud of the progress we have made to date, but we know that there is much more work to do, in collaboration with mothers, families, community organizations, state, and local health officials, to make the United States the best country in the world to have a baby.”

“The Enhancing Maternal Health Initiative is truly a model for the kind of focus and investment that we need to end our nation’s devastating maternal health crisis,” Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) said.

The initiative focuses on Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, and the District of Columbia – where HRSA has significant investments given high need, and there are significant opportunities for new partnerships and collaborations.

Further, the Initiative aims to achieve measurable progress in maximizing the impact of HRSA grants and programs to improve maternal health and strengthen HRSA’s internal capacity to maximize the impact of HRSA’s maternal health grants, programs, and resources.

Throughout the year, HRSA will bring together HRSA grantees from across the states of focus to foster cross-program and cross-state relationships to drive progress in maternal health and end the maternal mortality crisis.

The Policy Center will continue to cover this initiative, particularly how HRSA is addressing maternal mental health provider shortages.

Read more information on HRSA’s maternal health work.