Maryland Department of Health recognizes National Prematurity Awareness Month in November

29 November 2022

Media contact:

Chase Cook, Acting Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-8649

Maryland Department of Health recognizes National Prematurity Awareness Month in November

Announce new funding for antenatal and baby care services to be spread over 3 years

Baltimore, MD As part of National Prematurity Awareness Month, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today announced $6 million in grant funding to expand access to prenatal and infant care services for at-risk, low-income families.

MDH will provide the financing through the Maryland Prenatal and Infant Care Thrive By Three Grant Fund and Program to Improve Maternal and Infant Care Coordination. The funds are expected to be distributed over the next three years.

“Drivive by Three benefits pregnant people and babies at risk,” Dr. Jinlene Chan, deputy secretary of MDH for Public Health Services, said. “The model serves at-risk pregnant people and those who have recently given birth – giving mother, father and baby a greater chance for healthier outcomes, and reducing inequalities in healthy births.”

November is National Prematurity Awareness Month.  Visit Maryland's Maternal and Child Health Bureau for information on prenatal care.  health.maryland.gov

Access to prenatal care early in pregnancy plays a critical role in the health of the pregnant person and the baby. However, only 76.6% of pregnant people in the United States receive early and adequate prenatal care.

Thrive By Three increases access to prenatal care through maternal and infant care coordination and other programs that connect parent and infant to services and supports during and after pregnancy. Families are referred to services and supports based on identified needs, including home visiting and evaluation for maternal depression, early intervention for developmental delays and disabilities, and insurance and nutrition programs.

MDH will provide Thrive By Three funds to the Wicomico County Health Department, St. Mary’s County Health Department, Mary’s Center Adelphi Health Center in Prince George’s County, and Community Care, Inc.

Maternal and child health is a top population health priority for the state. It is part of Maryland’s Statewide Integrated Health Improvement Strategya coordinated public-private initiative to improve health, reduce inequalities and transform healthcare delivery. To learn more about efforts to improve the health of families nationwide, visit the MDH Bureau of Maternal and Child Health.

For more information about Medicaid services for pregnant people and children, visit the MDH Office of Medicaid Maternal and Child Health Programs.

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The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.

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