SAUGET – A local foundation will use a large grant to address the socioeconomic risk factors that put the lives of some mothers and babies at risk.
The Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation has received a grant award of $750,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will allow the agency to continue its work to improve the health of pregnant moms and their babies in the Metro East through its Healthy Start program.
The foundation said it is dedicated to improving birth outcomes by addressing issues of infant mortality, low birth weight and racial disparities in perinatal health. Since 1998, the SIHF Healthy Start program has connected expectant mothers to prenatal care and support services,
Each year more than 500 pregnant women in East St. Louis and Belleville benefit from Healthy Start services. Healthy Start services include transportation to medical appointments, case management, health education, prenatal and parenting classes, and father support.
“Our goal is to ensure that moms have a healthy, full-term pregnancy and to help families care for their infants through the first two years,” said Paula Brodie, vice president of Communications and Support Services for SIHF.
Healthy Start staff members are located at five SIHF health centers, including Mother & Child Center in Centreville, State Street Center and Windsor Health Center in East St. Louis, and Belleville Family Health Center and West Belleville Health Center in Belleville. The Healthy Start program is offered free to expectant and new mothers, and more information can be found at www.sihf.org or by calling (618) 332-3509.
About Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation
SIHF operates a network of 30 health centers across nine counties with more than 150 medical providers who deliver comprehensive family and adult services including: Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Primary Care, Dental Services, Behavioral Health and extensive community outreach programs. As one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Center networks in the country, SIHF is devoted to leading individuals and communities to their healthiest lifestyle regardless of their ability to pay. For more information, visit www.sihf.org.