Maternal and Child Health
The Center of Community Health Alignment in alignment with BirthMatters, South Carolina Office of Rural Health – Family Solutions and PASOs have created an exciting plan of action to enhance and spread these three community-based maternal and child health models, so that we can help more families throughout South Carolina to successfully address their social determinants of health and improve birth outcomes. All of these community health worker (CHW) initiatives are evidence-based and work in culturally-tailored ways to close gaps and improve health outcomes.
A CHW can have many different names and roles. In maternal and child health, there are many examples of how this community-based work can have significant impact on families. In South Carolina, we are fortunate to have several successful evidence based CHW programs focused on maternal and child health:
BirthMatters, a community-based doula program, has saved Spartanburg over $1.4 million through decreased c-sections and NICU admissions, combined with increased breastfeeding rates and postpartum family planning. BirthMatters provide services to over 50 young mothers every year, and pregnancy prevention counseling to more than 400 community members.
The South Carolina Office of Rural Health – Family Solutions, a Healthy Start initiative, has reduced the infant mortality rate by 65% of their clients through client centered assessments and interventions and strong collaborations with community and healthcare providers. They provide individualized support to over 400 mothers and 600 babies per year in Orangeburg, Bamberg, Barnwell, Allendale, and Hampton Counties.
PASOs involves Spanish-speaking CHWs (Promotores de Salud) that successfully connected almost 5,000 people from 35 counties with needed services or information that resulted in health or behavioral change and works with over 200 agencies to improve cultural competence of agencies statewide. 82% of PASOs’ clients are able to improve their situation through successful engagement with community resources.