Biden-Harris Administration Invests $105 Million in Community-Based Organizations to Improve Maternal and Infant Health Across the Country

Healthy Start funding will better support moms and babies to improve health in communities experiencing high disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes

Announcement made in Atlanta, GA, the second stop of HRSA’s year-long Enhancing Maternal Health Initiative

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced $105 million in funding to support more than 100 community-based organizations working to improve maternal and infant health. HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson highlighted the news during a visit to Southside Medical Center, a new Healthy Start awardee, in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia is the second stop on HRSA’s national Enhancing Maternal Health Initiative tour. Today’s Healthy Start funding announcement will support the health care and social needs of moms and babies in high need communities to help improve community health and tackle the unacceptable disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes.

“Maternal health is a fundamental human right and every mother deserves access to quality care and support. Having a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth shouldn’t depend on the color of your skin, what language you speak at home, or where you live,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We know that by expanding access to proven health care best practices we can help moms and their children thrive. That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration continues to support organizations working to improve maternal and infant health, especially in communities most at risk of poor outcomes.”

“At the Health Resources and Services Administration, we know that healthy babies begin with healthy moms,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “Today’s $105 million investment in our Healthy Start Program is essential to implementing the Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis. Through these Healthy Start awards we will support on-the-ground, community-based organizations who will work every day to help expecting and new moms get the health care and key supports – like transportation to prenatal care and food assistance – they need to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.”

Healthy Start is a HRSA-funded program that focuses on improving the well-being of expecting mothers and those who have just given birth, addressing needs in communities with infant mortality rates that are 1.5 times the national average or greater, and combatting the disparities in outcomes that have resulted in higher mortality rates for Black and Indigenous women and infants of color. Healthy Start Programs are able to tailor services to community needs, including by supporting culturally responsive health care services, food assistance, emergency supplies, transportation to care, housing navigation, and other critical social supports. Healthy Start also supports clinical service providers and other key members of the workforce, including mental health professionals, doulas, nutritionists, social workers, case managers and other community health workers.

HRSA’s Enhancing Maternal Health Initiative is focused on accelerating HRSA’s maternal health work to address maternal mortality and maternal health disparities in partnership with women, grantees, community organizations, and state and local health officials across the country. HRSA is the arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that funds state and local community efforts to improve maternal and child health; invests in sustaining and expanding maternal health care services in rural communities; funds training and loan repayment to support the next generation of the health workforce including obstetricians (OBs), midwives and community-based doulas; provides community-based maternal health care in high need communities regardless of individuals’ ability to pay through HRSA-funded community health centers; and, runs the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 833-TLC-MAMA. The Enhancing Maternal Health Initiative is working in areas of the country with high maternal mortality rates where HRSA has programs that can work together to help advance better outcomes, including Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, and the District of Columbia.

For the full list of award recipients, visit the Healthy Start awards page.