North Carolina Maternal Health Innovation Program
North Carolina is one of nine states to receive the Maternal Health Innovation (MHI) Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Funded in September 2019, this five-year federal grant is managed by the Women, Infant, and Community Wellness Section in the Division of Public Health and funds over a dozen contractors around the state to develop innovative strategies to address disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality.
MHI seeks to augment and strengthen the state’s perinatal system of care. Program efforts align with the Perinatal Health Strategic Plan and several recommendations from the Perinatal Systems of Care Task Force are being carried out. In collaboration with key partners noted in the diagram below, MHI works collaboratively alongside individuals with lived experiences, health systems, providers, the Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC), prepaid health plans, and community-based programs to improve North Carolina’s perinatal system of care, resulting in improvements in maternal health outcomes.
The MHI Program works with existing and new initiatives and partners to create systems-level change to improve maternal morbidity and mortality in North Carolina:
Implement evidence-based Centering Pregnancy and Centering Parenting programs within priority Perinatal Care Regions.
Implement support and outreach services in the preconception, prenatal, labor and delivery, postpartum, and interconception periods, using Community Health Workers and Doulas in low income and underserved areas.
Community Health Worker Doula Services
Expand NC’s 4th Trimester Project to train additional providers on the Alliance for Innovation (AIM) on Postpartum Maternal Health bundle and reach more individuals.
Advance Maternal Health Initiatives with leadership from the NC Institute of Medicine, and in collaboration with the Perinatal Health Equity Collective to assure access to high quality and equitable health services to optimize health and wellbeing for North Carolinians of reproductive age.
Maternal Health Workgroup
Create and implement a Statewide Provider Support Network including Obstetricians, Family Medicine Physicians, Pediatricians, and Perinatal Nurse Champions who work to identify evidence-based guidelines, educate practice staff, and provide mentoring within each of the six Perinatal Care Regions (PCR).
Statewide Provider Support Network
Continue the existing partnership with Perinatal Quality Collaborative of NC (PQCNC) related to the Obstetric Hemorrhage AIM bundle.
Strengthening Existing Partnerships
Provide telehealth services within Perinatal Care Regions I and VI to increase access to specialty care services within rural and underserved communities.
Develop and provide training for physicians, midlevel practitioners, nurses, and others related to health equity, implicit bias, and social determinants of health through partnerships with the NC Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, and March of Dimes .
Trainings for Providers
Train students in the NC AHEC Scholars Program on maternal health issues inclusive of health equity, implicit bias, and social determinants of health.