Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $532,933 in federal funding for the Perinatal Network of Monroe County. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and will be used to support and provide caseworkers for eight prenatal care centers in Rochester.
“This much-needed funding is great news for the Perinatal Network of Monroe County, which will use these funds to continue its work in reducing infant mortality rates in the Rochester and Monroe County area,” said Senator Schumer. “The Perinatal Network will do this by increasing the access women have to quality healthcare services during pregnancy. This funding is an excellent investment in the health of our Rochester area mothers and families overall.”
“As a mother, I believe every woman should be able to get the care they need during their pregnancy,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Perinatal Network of Monroe County will provide pregnant women with the resources they need during the most critical times of their pregnancies. This will help reduce infant mortality and help improve the overall health of new families in the Monroe area.”
“The Perinatal Network of Monroe County is very grateful to have received a Healthy Start grant and for the support of Senator Gillibrand, Senator Schumer, and Congresswoman Slaughter in securing the necessary funding allocation. This grant is a revised program that follows Healthy Start funding that the Perinatal Network had received since 2002 with the goal of reducing infant mortality and racial disparities in birth outcomes. The new funding has the same broad goals, with five core objectives: to improve women’s health, with a focus on access to care; promote quality services; strengthen family resilience; achieve collective community impact; and Increase program accountability,” said Patricia Brantingham, Executive Director of the Perinatal Network of Monroe County. “Locally, Healthy Start funding will fund our engagement with a wide range of organizations that deliver the social determinants of health as well as our traditional partners in health and medical care so that we can better align our efforts to create a community in which it is as easy to make healthful choices as it is now to make unhealthful choices. And it will enable us to enhance the linkages among organizations and between women and the services that they need.”
The Perinatal Network of Monroe County is a non-profit organization that provides classes, support groups, and other resources to ensure optimal health for babies and their mothers. The Monroe County Department of Health established a partnership with the Perinatal Network in 2013 to study infant mortality and create a long-term solution. The infant mortality rate in the county is 11.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to the national infant mortality rate of 6.5.
The Healthy Start program is operated by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at HRSA and serves 196 communities that have infant mortality rates at least 1.5 times the national average and high rates of serious medical conditions caused by pregnancy and delivery. Healthy Start offers programs to help families care for their children by addressing social and economic factors that prove to have a negative impact on a child’s health.