LANSING, Mich. – A new state program aimed at improving birth and health outcomes for high-risk mothers and their babies launches this week, Gov. Rick Snyder announced today.
In 2014, Snyder announced during his Special Message on Health and Wellness that reducing the state’s infant mortality rate would be a priority for the administration. This new partnership will expand Spectrum Health’s Strong Beginnings program through a pilot that will serve an estimated 1,700 families in Kent County, with the goal of reducing preterm birth and rapid repeat pregnancy. Based on the results of the pilot program, it could be expanded to other counties.
“Continuing to improve health outcomes for pregnant women and infants is important work in Michigan, and it’s great to partner on this innovative program with Spectrum Health and the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab to achieve better coordination of care,” Snyder said.
Michigan was chosen in a national competition to work with the Government Performance Lab on the project. Michigan Partners for Success (MI PFS) is the State’s new partnership approach to pay-for-success contracts and Social Impact Bonds (SIBs). In Partners for Success, the state government teams up with service providers and investors from the philanthropic and private communities to fund new preventative approaches to addressing community problems. The state pays only for the successful outcomes achieved by the service providers based on corresponding taxpayer savings, a contracting approach known as “pay-for-success” (PFS).
The Strong Beginnings program focuses on improving health and early childhood development outcomes for high-risk mothers and their babies through home-visitation, community programs and better coordination of care throughout pregnancy until the child’s second birthday. Strong Beginnings is a partnership of eight community agencies, including the State population-based Maternal Infant Health program, and is dedicated to improving maternal and child health among African-Americans and Latinas and eliminating racial disparities in birth outcomes.
The pilot program began on August 1, and the first meeting of the executive committee overseeing implementation of the project was held this week.