The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), and Delaware Healthy Mother & Infant Consortium (DHMIC) are seeking applicants for Healthy Women, Healthy Babies (HWHB) Zones mini-grants to improve maternal and infant health outcomes in Delaware using community-based approaches.
It is anticipated that two new mini-grantees will be funded for the new grant cycle — each will receive up to $50,000 — for the 20-month grant period from Nov. 1, 2022, through June 30, 2024.
“The HWHB Zones is a collective impact approach where the aim is to build state and local capacity, and to test small-scale innovative strategies in the community. By doing so we hope to shift the impact of social determinants of health tied to root causes related to infant and maternal mortality and morbidity,” said DPH Associate Deputy Director Cassandra Codes-Johnson. “DPH, and DHMIC are committed to supporting local organizations whose results-driven work strives to accomplish this and further build upon mortality reduction work in Delaware.”
To determine who will be awarded the grants, DPH and DHMIC will carefully assess several criteria, including whether the applicant uses an actionable, community-based intervention designed to support identified high-risk communities across the state.
To be eligible:
- Applicants must hold a 501(c)(3) status.
- The applicant’s annual operating budget must be under $3 million.
- The proposed project must focus on at least one of the following priority areas:
- Father/partner involvement and engagement
- Addressing food insecurity
- Proposed programs must be linked to reducing disparities related to maternal/child health.
- The target population must be women of childbearing age (ages 15 to 44) who are considered high risk (living in a targeted HWHB Zone) and/or partners of these women.
- Strategies must be based on the perspectives and priorities of, and partnerships with, those living in the HWHB Zone.
- The applicant (if selected) will engage in data collection to measure the impact of the program.
DPH and DHMIC are hosting a webinar for all interested applicants on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, at noon. To register, visit: https://bit.ly/3PxOHg5
Organizations that wish to apply must submit a brief “intent to apply” email by Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. Information about this intent to apply will be provided in the webinar on Aug. 1. A recording of the webinar will be available following the presentation. All organizations that wish to apply should plan to attend or listen to the recording.
Eligible organizations will then be invited to make an oral presentation the week of Aug. 22, 2022, with short written follow-up proposals due on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. Funds will be awarded on Nov. 1, 2022.
This is a new cycle of funding for an ongoing initiative that began in 2019. The current HWHB Zones mini-grant recipients include:
- Delaware Adolescent Program Inc. (DAPI)
- Delaware Multicultural and Civic Organization (DEMCO)
- Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV)
- Hispanic American Association of Delaware (HAAD)
- Rose Hill Community Center — Women’s Wellness Program
- Parent Information Center (PIC)
- Black Mothers in Power (BMIP)
- Breastfeeding Coalition of Delaware (BCD)
- Kingswood Community Center (Grant Cycle 1 only)
Current mini-grantees have made an impact through:
- Statistically significant reductions in stress
- Training of over a dozen doulas who are women of color to provide physical and emotional support to women during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post-partum
- Increases in breastfeeding initiation and duration
- Increases in feelings of hopefulness
- Reductions in financial stress
“These community-based organizations have served more than 550 women, providing programs and services that meet a broad range of needs that, if unmet, lead to poor physical and mental health, as well as negative birth outcomes,” said DHMICH Co-Chair, David A. Paul, MD, Co-Chair. “The Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium and several stakeholders are working, in partnership, with trusted community-based organizations to engage people directly in their communities and help them to build resilience and navigate access to available resources.”
“We are so grateful to our community-based partners for their dedication to addressing our state’s critical maternal and child health priorities, from isolation and disconnection to job access to pregnancy planning and reproductive health education to doula capacity and training. We are proud to report that the hard work is making a difference,” said DHMIC Co-Chair, Susan Smith Noyes, MSN, RN.
Disparities in Delaware
Delaware saw a 30% decline in the infant mortality rate between the five-year periods ending 2004 and 2020. The IMR has fallen from 9.3 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004 to 6.5 in 2020. While we have made strides in the overall reduction in our infant mortality rate, the racial disparity persists. Statistics reinforce the significant need in Delaware for continued and aggressive programming to mobilize communities and partners to educate and motivate underserved and high-risk populations to embrace healthier behaviors before, during, and after pregnancy.
According to Delaware Health Statistics,
- Delaware’s infant mortality rate between 2016-2020 was 6.5 deaths per 1000 live births, higher than the national average of 5.4 deaths per 1000 live births.
- During the period 2016-2020, Delaware’s Black infant mortality rate of 11.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births is higher than the Hispanic infant mortality rate of 6.3 infant deaths and the White infant mortality rate of 3.8 infant deaths.
- Black babies are almost 3 times more likely than White babies to die before their first birthday.
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Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.
About the Delaware Healthy Mother & Infant Consortium
In 2005, the Delaware Infant Mortality Task Force’s final report put forth a three-year plan with 20 recommendations to reduce the high infant mortality rate in Delaware. The plan called for the creation of the Delaware Healthy Mother & Infant Consortium (DHMIC) to help ensure that stated directives were put into place. These directives include but are not limited to the following:
- Providing advice and support to state agencies, hospitals, and health care providers regarding their roles in reducing infant mortality and improving the health of infants and women of childbearing age;
- Facilitating collaborative partnerships among public health agencies, hospitals, health care providers, and all other interested agencies and organizations to carry out recommended infant mortality improvement strategies;
- Recommending standards of care to ensure the health of infants and women of childbearing age;
- Coordinating efforts to address disparities related to the health of infants and women of childbearing age;
- Overseeing the development and implementation of research activities to better understand the causes of infant mortality;
- Coordinating efforts to prevent conditions and behaviors that lead to poor health in infants and women of childbearing age; and
- Recommending legislation and regulations that will enhance the health of infants and women of childbearing age.
To learn more about Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium, please visit dethrives.com/dhmic.