RELEASE

$250K in ‘Advancing Maternal Health Equity’ Grants Awarded to Reduce Disparities and Improve Maternal Health Outcomes in Vulnerable Communities

Teddy Wingert

| 3 min read

DETROIT, Jan. 9, 2024 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation today announced $250,000 in grant awards to five organizations through the Advancing Maternal Health Equity grant program. Funds will support Michigan community-based organizations implementing sustainable initiatives that advance health equity, consider challenges across the continuum of the pregnancy journey, including pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postpartum periods, 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 six of the Regional Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaboratives (RPQIC) 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's goal to reduce racial disparities in maternal health by 50% by 2026.
“As addressing maternal health disparities remains a priority, we’re honored to continue to partner with outstanding organizations to improve health outcomes for those who need it most which makes this second year of the Advancing Maternal Health Equity program extremely significant,” said Ken Hayward, vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Through the program, grantees will have the resources and tools to help improve accessibility to resources and services, target maternal health disparities in communities and ultimately, identify systems to reduce maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity.”
“The selected grantees have an outspoken commitment to serve pregnant people all while taking meaningful strides to address the maternal health crisis,” said Audrey Harvey, executive director and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. “The five organizations are incredibly deserving, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation commend their efforts to address pre-and-postpartum pregnancy challenges, overcome those challenges and meet critical needs.”
For a full list of organizations awarded Advancing Maternal Health Equity grants, click here.
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 2022 Annual Report.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for more than 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.

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