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Program to address improved prenatal care for low-income moms


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               Connecticut Department of Public Health

June 29, 2012                                                              Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                                    (860) 509-7270


Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced it was selected to participate in a national leadership program to increase the quality of prenatal care for low-income women.


Connecticut was one of twenty sites selected through a competitive process to participate in the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH), a leadership training program offered by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The academy provides training that brings together leaders from public health, health care and community organizations to improve specific, measurable public health problems within their community. 


DPH, working as part of a community health team comprised of representatives from Community Health Center, Inc., the Ledge Light Health District, the Connecticut Hospital Association and other partners will receive training and support from national experts to promote the adoption of a Medicaid maternity care Pay-for-Performance Initiative, under construction by the Connecticut Department of Social Services. The initiative will initially focus on New London county, and link the delivery of evidence-based prenatal care performance measures to HUSKY (Healthcare for UninSured Kids and Youth) reimbursement rates.


“The risk of low birth weight among women enrolled in Connecticut’s Medicaid program is more than two and a half times higher than that among women enrolled in private insurance programs,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “The leadership training and support we receive through this program will support community efforts to increase the quality of prenatal care and improve pregnancy outcomes among low-income women with decreased rates of low birth weight and associated infant mortality.”


NLAPH is implemented by the Center for Health Leadership and Practice (CHLP), a center of the Public Health Institute (PHI), with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. The center will provide training and support for a period of one year. “This program will impart community health teams with the skills to lead across sectors and collaboratively solve complex community health problems in innovative ways,” said Carmen Rita Nevarez MD, MPH, Vice President for External Relations and CHLP's Director. “These are the types of leaders who will ultimately be able to drive critical efforts, such as the adoption of evidence-based policies and practices at the community level, which can have a tangible impact on health outcomes.”


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.