DETROIT, Jan. 23, 2023 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation today announced over $270,000 in grant awards to seven organizations through the Advancing Maternal Health Equity grant program. Funds will 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 (SMM).
The Advancing Maternal Health Equity grant program was targeted toward community-based organizations located within the five Regional Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaboratives (RPQIC) regions of the state identified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as having the highest feto infant mortality and maternal mortality rates with a goal of advancing maternal health equity by addressing disparities-related factors in maternal health. This grant program is part of BCBSM’s multi-year health equity strategy to address disparities and aligns with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association goal to reduce racial disparities in maternal health by 50% in five years.
“The opportunity to collaborate with these outstanding organizations in bettering health outcomes for those on their pregnancy journeys is key to improving the overall health of Michigan,” said Ken Hayward, vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Through the ‘Advancing Maternal Health Equity’ program, grantees will have the resources and tools to help improve accessibility to resources and services, target birth equity disparities in communities and ultimately, identify systems to reduce maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity.”
“The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation applauds the work these seven organizations will set out to accomplish in addressing the maternal health crisis,” said Audrey Harvey, executive director and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. “We are inspired by our grantees’ impactful work on these programs as they uniquely identify the challenges birthing persons experience during and following pregnancy, and ways to overcome those challenges.”
Organizations awarded Advancing Maternal Health Equity grants include:
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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 4.7 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. For more on the BCBSM Foundation, visit bcbsm.com/foundation.