CP36 - ACCESS Westside Healthy Start: Impact of Integrated Support Systems for Maternal Child Health
Poster Type: Innovation
Primary Funding Source: Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal Child Health Bureau
Category: Quality of Care and Quality Improvement
Issue or Challenge: Infant mortality (IM) serves as a proxy for community health and access to quality health services and while the U.S. 2018 infant mortality rate (IMR) was 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births , significant disparities persist by geography, race, and ethnicity. Chicago is no exception. The average IMR (2013-2017) for Chicago is 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births while on the westside of Chicago in the community areas of Austin, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, and Humboldt Park the average IMR is 11 deaths per 1,000 live births, 1.67 times the Chicago rate.
Description of Innovation: Access Community Health Network (ACCESS) provides community-based health care and serves the target community areas of Austin, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, and Humboldt Park. To reduce infant health disparities, ACCESS obtained federal funding to establish its Westside Healthy Start (WHS) program and partnered with another local FQHC to provide targeted family-centered and comprehensive case management services utilizing a life course approach from preconception to 18 months postpartum. To seamlessly provide services, WHS instituted a care team approach to support participants and coordinate services. WHS’ primary focus is to promote adequate prenatal care and provide education and resources on topics such as safe sleep to reduce chances of premature or low birth weight babies, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other leading causes of infant mortality. To meet participant needs, WHS devotes efforts to community education to drive collective impact and developing and maintaining strong community relationships. Through this innovative infrastructure, case managers connect participants with resources and education at the health center, telephonically, and at home to ensure pregnancy and overall health and wellness goals are met. This approach helped to reduce health disparities affecting mothers and babies on Chicago’s West side.
Impact or Result: The average IMR (2013-2017) on the Westside of Chicago in the community areas of Austin, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, and Humboldt Park is 11 deaths per 1,000 live births while for WHS participants, the average (2014-2019) IMR is 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. Several factors contribute to the reduced IMR. ACCESS WHS’ safe sleep education and community partnerships connect participants with safe sleep resources (Ex: Pack 'N Play™) and contributes to an increase in participants reporting safe sleeping practices from 72% in 2017 to 80% in 2020. Breastfeeding can also reduce the incidence of SIDS. Therefore, WHS focuses on initiation and duration. WHS’ partner LCHC reported increased rates from 58% in 2017 to 64% in 2020. While exchanging lessons learned, LCHC stated their success is due to a strong breastfeeding culture and specifically named the influence of midwives and breastfeeding educator on breastfeeding.
Replicating this Innovation: Replication of this model can be done by investing in the maternal and child heath workforce including a non-clinical support system that can connect participants with social services and community resources. Keys to replications include (1) developing strong relationships with the community and organization, (2) utilizing a care team approach, (3) customizing workflow development, and (4) incorporating evaluation activities to monitor progress and program effectiveness.
Lindsay Zeman, Evaluation Specialist, Access Community Health Network
Timika Anderson-Reeves, Director of Maternal Child Health & Women's Health Community Integration, Access Community Health Network
Dara Gray Basley, Manager of Health Equity, Access Community Health Network
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