Arizona receives $10M federal grant to improve maternal health care

Sep 17, 2019, 9:15 AM
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services has received a more than $10 million federal grant to improve maternal health care in the state, the agency announced this week.

Arizona is one of nine states to receive the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant, which will be distributed over the next five years.

Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday the grant will help the department “enhance our efforts to improve health outcomes for all women in Arizona, but especially focusing on women who are pregnant and women who have just delivered.”

Christ said the funds will help Arizona deal with a shortage of medical professionals who can work with mothers and provide prenatal care to areas that have no access.

“These funds are going to go towards helping us collect and analyze data to identify where interventions can be placed in order to have the biggest impact,” she said.

The grant will also allow Arizona to join the the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health Initiative, which works to reduce maternal mortality rates.

According to the United Health Foundation, there are 27.3 deaths per 100,00 live births in Arizona, the 29th-highest in the nation.

The grant builds on the state’s efforts to turn attention toward maternal health.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill in April that established a 13-member advisory committee to work with ADHS on releasing a report on maternal deaths in the state and recommend strategies for reducing them.

“Losing even one mom to pregnancy-related complications is one too many,” Ducey said in a press release.

“With the addition of over $10 million in available funds over the next five years, Arizona will be able to further its commitment to improving the health of Arizona’s moms and babies throughout the state.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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Arizona receives $10M federal grant to improve maternal health care