A Participatory, State–Community–Academic Model to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes in Texas: The Healthy Families Initiative
While the Texas infant mortality rate (IMR) is below the Healthy People 2020 objective (5.7 per 1,000 live births), stark differences in IMR are seen across Texas communities. Health indicators for the state suggest important missed opportunities for improving maternal and infant outcomes. The Healthy Families initiative was a collaboration between a Texas state agency, community partners, and academic institutions to understand how evidence-based interventions could be identified, adapted, and implemented to address community priorities and reduce disparities in pregnancy outcomes.
The Healthy Families initiative included two Texas counties, one with low utilization of prenatal care and one with persistent disparities in infant mortality. The model served to (1) identify community factors influencing IMR and maternal morbidity through stakeholder engagement and secondary data, (2) build community capacity to link pregnant women with existing and newly developed services, and (3) develop partnerships within the community and clinics to improve access to and sustainability of services.
A community-based participatory approach focused on stakeholder engagement was used to identify, design, and adapt strategies to address community-identified priorities.
The Healthy Families initiative is a unique state–community–academic partnership aimed at improving pregnancy outcomes in vulnerable communities, with a focus on promotion of capacity building, maintenance, and sustainability of maternal and infant health programs.
Patel DA, Salahuddin M, Valerio M, et al. A Participatory, State–Community–Academic Model to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes in Texas: The Healthy Families Initiative. Health Education & Behavior. 2021;48(5):690-699. doi:10.1177/1090198120977156
Health Education & Behavior