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September 24, 2019

New Jersey awarded federal grant worth $10.5 million to improve maternal health

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New Jersey federal grant pregnancy Thiago Borges/Pexels

New Jersey Department of Health was awarded a $10.5 million federal grant for advancing maternal healthcare and addressing disparities and bias in maternal health. It will help fund the New Jersey Maternity Care Quality Collaborative.

New Jersey was granted a $10.5 million federal grant for improving maternal care and racial bias, First Lady Tammy Murphy and the state Department of Health announced on Tuesday. 

New Jersey Department of Health will receive $2.1 million a year for five years by the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The award will go towards advancing quality care and addressing disparities commonly found with maternal health in the Garden State. 

The funding will ultimately support the New Jersey Maternity Care Quality Collaborative, a team of stakeholders that seeks to decrease maternal deaths and injuries through improving maternity care and delivery, and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities.

The funds will be used for improving innovations in childbirth, granting easier access to IUDs, and promoting collaborative learning for maternal healthcare providers, such as doulas and OB-GYNs. 

The New Jersey Department of Health recently received a $450,000 federal grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August to support maternal mortality efforts.

“Every mother deserves the opportunity for a healthy birth experience and a healthy child,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy in a statement. “Skin color should not impact the quality of care received or chances of surviving childbirth, nor should it determine whether children live to see their first birthday. This grant will go a long way toward addressing disparities in health outcomes and establishing New Jersey as a leader in maternal and infant health. Together, and only together, will we make New Jersey the safest place in the nation to deliver a baby.”

Pregnancy-related mortality was four to five times higher in black, American Indian and Alaska native women than it was for white women, according to the CDC. Black women who held a college degree were 5.2 times more likely than their white counterparts to experience pregnancy-related mortality.

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