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Delta Health Alliance receives a $3.5 million grant improve infant health outcomes

Posted on: October 21, 2014

(Stoneville, MS) – The US Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded a five-year grant to Delta Health Alliance (DHA) to address infant mortality and poor maternal and infant health outcomes in the Delta counties of Holmes, Humphreys, and Leflore. The grant will address the needs of vulnerable mothers and infants in areas of the country with disproportionately high rates of infant mortality.

Delta Health Alliance will serve as the lead organization for the grant and will work in partnership with a team of local and state agencies and non-profits, including the Mississippi State Departments of Health and Employment Security, Agency for Family and Children’s Services, Mississippi State University Extension Office, Life Health Mental Health Center, Health Help Mississippi, Mississippi Oral Health Association, and Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition.

The project, known as Mississippi Delta Healthy Start Collaborative, will expand services of DHA’s successful Delta Parents as Teachers program in Leflore County then carry the program into neighboring Holmes and Humphreys counties. Enrolled families (pregnant women through parents with children up to age five) will receive pregnancy and parent education, case management, safety instruction, life planning, navigational assistance accessing maternal and infant services and insurance coverage, early childhood development programs, childhood literacy initiatives, and access to a newly added fatherhood program, Delta Dads.

“While there has been some improvement statewide in infant mortality, lower rates have been slow to materialize in our poorest, most isolated communities,” states Karen Matthews, Delta Health Alliance CEO.   “Our targeted service area of Leflore, Holmes and Humphries counties is representative of these needs.  The program has the potential to be replicated into other communities in the Delta.”

When fully operational, Mississippi Delta Healthy Start Collaborative is designed to serve up to 500 participants each year in these three Delta counties. For more information about this program or other Delta Health Alliance initiatives, please call 662.686.7004 or visit www.deltahealthalliance.org.