Schenectady County’s infant mortality and adolescent pregnancy rates are the worst in the Capital Region at 9.1 per 1,000 births and 21.5 per 1,000 females, respectively. The groundbreaking program will support women throughout their pregnancy and up to one year after childbirth, with the ultimate goal of improving birth outcomes and patient experience.
“This Blue Fund grant is a tremendous help for what we’re trying to accomplish, and that is to make sure women in underserved communities have those extra resources to get them through one of the most beautiful, yet challenging times of their lives,” said Julie Adamec, Director of Network Development for Healthy Alliance.
As the convenor of the initiative, Healthy Alliance has formed a coalition of 15 local organizations — including Hometown Health Centers, Healthy Capital District Initiative (HCDI), Mom Starts Here, and Ellis Hospital, who will all play integral roles to develop and grow Schenectady’s new Maternal and Child Health CHW Hub.
Central to the coalition’s efforts will be the hiring of two Community Health Workers, who will work directly with 50 at-risk pregnant women who qualify for the program. Each Community Health Worker will have a caseload of 25 women, working individually with each woman to tailor a plan to their needs.
HCDI will serve as the lead agent for the program, while Mom Starts Here will oversee and support the day-to-day operations of the Community Health Workers. Hometown Health Centers and Ellis Medicine will be the main referral sources for the program and the Community Health Workers will be stationed in their facilities.
Schenectady County residents will receive care based on their needs, which is subject to change over time. This will include connecting women to social care and clinical care services, coordinating care, communicating between agencies, establishing resources that need to be put in place, and more – all in effort to eliminate social and financial barriers and reduce obstacles in accessing care.
“What’s important is that these women won’t be going through this alone. They’ll be able to sleep comfortably knowing there will be a variety of resources at their disposal, helping set mom and baby up for success,” said Adamec.
The program is expected to kick off in the first quarter of 2023.