Maternal & Infant Health

Maternal & Infant Health

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Why Is This Important?

The health and wellness of Vermont’s women, children, and families is a foundation for the health of all Vermonters. Improving the well-being of mothers, infants, and children is an important public health goal for the United States. Their well-being determines the health of the next generation and can help predict future public health challenges for families, communities, and the health care system.

Family Planning
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What We Do

Family planning is one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. A priority of the Vermont Department of Health is to increase the percent of pregnancies that are healthy and planned. The Division of Maternal and Child Health supports programs and initiatives that strengthen the family planning system in Vermont.

The Health Department administers the Title X Family Planning Services Program. This work is carried out in partnership with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and supports Title X services in 10 Planned Parenthood clinics across the state. The goal of Vermont's Title X program is to provide high quality clinical family planning and related preventive health services, education and counseling to Vermonters who would otherwise not have access, with a special focus on low-income and rural populations.

For more information visit: http://healthvermont.gov/children-youth-families/f...

Who We Serve

We work to ensure that women and men across Vermont have access to quality family planning services, including services that support achieving a healthy pregnancy, preconception health care services, contraceptive services and screening for and treating sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.

How We Impact

Family planning helps individuals prevent unplanned pregnancy or achieve intended pregnancy. Family planning empowers individuals to exercise personal choice in the number and spacing of children they have – even if the choice is not to have children. Family planning contributes to improved health outcomes for infants, children, women and families.

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What We Do

Since its inception in 1974, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has been an important source of nutrition education, breastfeeding support, nutritious supplemental food, and health care referrals for low-income women during and after pregnancy and for infants and children up to age 5 in the United States.

Through good nutrition, WIC helps ensure optimal health outcomes for pregnant women, new mothers, and families with infants and young children. As Vermont’s premier public health nutrition program, WIC’s nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and healthy foods support thousands of women, infants and children every year to eat well, learn about good nutrition and stay healthy.

For more about Vermont WIC, visit our website at: http://healthvermont.gov/family/wic

Who We Serve

Pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to age 5 can enroll in WIC if their household income is less than $863 per week for a family of four, or if they are receiving Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur, SNAP or Reach-Up. Women and children must live in Vermont and meet income and nutrition guidelines to be eligible for WIC. Fathers, grandparents and foster parents may apply for children who are in their care. Over half the new babies and 40 percent of pregnant women in Vermont access WIC for healthy food, nutrition education and breastfeeding support.

How We Impact

WIC saves lives and improves the health of nutritionally at-risk women, infants and children. The results of studies conducted by FNS and other non-government entities prove that WIC is one of the nation’s most successful and cost-effective nutrition intervention programs. Since its beginning, the WIC Program has earned the reputation of being one of the most successful federally-funded nutrition programs in the United States. Collective findings of studies, reviews and reports demonstrate that the WIC Program is cost effective in protecting or improving the health/nutritional status of low-income women, infants and children, including

  • Improved birth outcomes and savings in health care costs
  • Improved diet and diet-related outcomes
  • Improved infant feeding practices
  • Immunization rates and regular source of medical care
  • Improved cognitive development
  • Improved preconceptional nutritional status
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What We Do

Strong Families Vermont is an evidence-based home visiting program out of Vermont’s Maternal and Child Health division. The goal of Strong Families VT is to assist at-risk women who are pregnant or up to 6 weeks postnatal with prenatal health, parenting skills, child health and development, and family economic self-sufficiency. Nurse home visitors from Vermont’s community health agencies visit moms prenatally through their child’s second birthday to help connect them with resources and provide support. Strong Families VT is funded through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program out of HRSA and is internatially known as Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home Visiting (MECSH), originating out of Austrailia. The program is an internatinally recognized, evidence based home visiting model that has been shown to improve family and community well-being. Strong Families VT works with families to:

  • Recognize and build on the strengths of the family, parents and children in the home.
  • Teach parenting skills and model effective techniques
  • Promote early learning in the home with an emphasis on positive interactions between parents and children
  • Provide information and guidance on a wide range of topics including breastfeeding, safe sleep position, injury prevention and nutrition
  • Conduct screenings and provide referrals and connections to resources if necessary
  • Connect families to other services and resources as appropriate

For more information visit: http://healthvermont.gov/children-youth-families/i... 

 

Who We Serve

Low-income mothers and their families.

How We Impact
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Maternal and Child Health Coordinators are experienced nurses that work in each of the Health Departments 12 District Offices. Core functions include:

  • Content Expertise
    • Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents
    • System of care for pregnant women, children and families at the community/regional level, including health care providers, community partners, and insurance coverage
  • Outreach to Providers
    • Bright Futures promotion, preconception health/family planning, alcohol & pregnancy, breastfeeding, oral health, smoking, developmental screening, infant safe sleep, adolescent well visit, suicide/depression screening (perinatal & adolescent), Help Me Grow
  • Community Engagement
    • Ensure the system of care for pregnant women, children, and families in their communities.
    • Ensure that appropriate and timely referrals are made.
    • Strive to ensure parts of the system are aware of each other and influence collaborative working relationships.
    • Inform and update community partners with key public health/MCH messaging
  • Systems Improvement: State Partnering and Integration
  • Training
Who We Serve

Maternal and Child Health Coordinators serve all of Vermont's women, children, and families.

How We Impact

Maternal Child Health Coordinators work diligently to improve and support the health, safety, and wellbeing of mothers and children. They are able to achieve this through community assessment, sharing best practices, and facilitating systems change to improve the health outcomes of mothers, infants and children.

They strive to build collaborative relationships with key organizations in the community, and partner with local health care providers, informing and updating them with key public health messaging on maternal and child health. Within this network, they coordinate and integrate available resources which best suit the needs of the population.

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Budget Information
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2017
50.8%
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2015
57.91%
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