RELEASE

Advancing Maternal Health Equity Grant Request for Applications Now Open

Erica Stamatoulakis

| 3 min read

DETROIT, Oct. 19, 2022 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation are partnering to provide funding through the Advancing Maternal Health Equity grant program to support Michigan community-based organizations implementing sustainable initiatives that advance health equity and reduce a birthing person’s risk of maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity.

A September 2022 Health of America report released by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association states pregnancy and childbirth complications in the U.S. have increased among all women by about 9% between 2018 to 2020. Racial disparities within these complications continue to be present as well for Black, Latina and Asian women in comparison to white women when it comes to the likelihood of complications. In alignment with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and other Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the country, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has made a goal to help reduce racial disparities in maternal health by 50% in five years.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and BCBSM Foundation grant partnership seeks grantees with innovative programming that will reduce risks and improve health through all stages of gestation: before pregnancy, during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum. Projects will ideally address local challenges to maternal health equity that impact maternal mortality, maternal morbidity, or severe maternal morbidity and their upstream causes. Michigan Regional Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaboratives (RPQICs) in select regions and their partners are invited to apply.

Invited RPQIC members in regions 1 (Upper Peninsula), 3 (Northern Lower Mich.), 6 (Thumb), 8 (Southwest Mich.) and 10 (Southeast Mich.) may apply for funding to support projects that advance maternal health equity by addressing disparity-related factors in maternal health. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services data indicates higher than the state average for feto-infant mortality and maternal mortality in the five regions selected for this grant opportunity. The data also indicates that the Perinatal Period of Risk for these regions exists during the maternal health/prematurity period and is related to chronic disease, health behaviors, early prenatal care and maternal stress among pregnant people.

Grant awards will be announced in December 2022. Grantees will be awarded up to $50,000 for 12 months and the program period begins January 2023. Programs will demonstrate improved health before and during pregnancy, through labor and delivery, and postpartum with primary interest in proposals that support women of color, support individuals in underserved and marginalized communities, address implicit bias and provide culturally relevant interventions – key to Blue Cross’ goal of reducing maternal disparities by 50%.

For more information on the partnership’s grant programs, visit Blue Cross’ grants and contributions webpage and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation’s 2021 Annual Report.

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About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.

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