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Shapiro Administration to Invest $1.8 Million to Improve Care for Pregnant Women and Babies by Tackling Maternal Health Issues


Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Health is kicking off Black Maternal Health Week (April 11-17) by announcing today that community-based organizations can apply for grants to help address maternal health concerns across the Commonwealth through the creation of regional coalitions. Governor Shapiro secured first-ever state funding for this effort in the 2023-24 budget, and the Shapiro Administration is making up to $1.8 million available from the current budget for these efforts.


Maternal health is a concern nationally, with the rate of pregnancy-associated deaths on the rise in recent years. In Pennsylvania, there are 83 pregnancy-associated deaths per 100,000 live births. In 2020, 107 Pennsylvanians lost their lives during pregnancy, delivery, or within one year postpartum. Black women are nearly two times more likely to die during pregnancy or in the first year after a pregnancy than white women.


“The tragic reality is that maternal mortality is far too common, and disproportionately impacts Black women and their families,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “That is why the Shapiro Administration is committed to addressing this health equity issue through the formation of regional coalitions to move the Maternal Mortality Review Committee recommendations into action in their own local communities to help save lives.”


The overall goal of this funding is to enable community-based organizations to develop and lead regional coalitions that will select and implement recommendations from the 2024 Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) report, to improve maternal health at the local level.


Funding for the grants comes from the current year’s budget, where Governor Josh Shapiro secured $2.3 million to study and implement recommendations from the MMRC for preventing maternal mortality.


The 2024-25 proposed budget doubles down on that work by investing an additional $2.7 million to address and prevent maternal mortality, especially among Black mothers. The newly-launched Division of Maternal Health Services within the Department of Health’s Bureau of Family Health will support the administration of the MMRC and the implementation of grant funding.


The anticipated grant agreement term for the Regional Maternal Health Coalitions is July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2027, subject to the availability of funding.

An optional online pre-application conference will be held on April 15 at 11:00 AM.

Applications must be received no later than 1:30 PM on April 30.

More information about the application process is available here.


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