Advocacy for public policy that improves maternal and child health outcomes since 1983.
The Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health (MCMCH) has worked with administrators, legislators, policy-makers, coalitions, communities, and advocates to shape and influence state policy affecting women, infants, children, and families in Michigan. With a policy agenda crafted by the Executive Board, MCMCH has called for and succeeded in securing the establishment or expansion of policy and programs that have a meaningful impact on maternal and child health outcomes.
Birth Equity Education Project
The Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health, supported by a team from the MSU Institute for Health Policy, is working to produce a series of knowledge products to promote policy improvements in specific areas of maternal and infant health. Titled the Birth Equity Education Project (BEEP), our primary goal is lifting up efforts and policy strategies that can impact health inequities for black and indigenous women and babies.
Doula Services for Improving Birth Outcomes examines the history and current work of doulas, the lack of recognition many face in clinical settings and the structures they operate within, including community-based doula programs. Doulas have shown to be an empowering and effective resource to reduce racial disparities in birth outcomes.
MCMCH has an accompanying policy guidance document--Advancing Doulas in Michigan--that outlines several policy considerations to enhance the availability and viability of doulas.
Reimagining Perinatal Care explores the role perinatal health care--the care a woman receives before, during and after delivery--has in health equity and birth outcomes. While standard prenatal care delivery has not changed substantially since the 1930s, there are innovative care delivery systems that are demonstrating improved outcomes by focusing on equity, providing patient and relationship-centered care and empowering families with education.
Making Perinatal Care Work in Michigan outlines several policy considerations for perinatal care to strengthen our state’s focus on promoting birth equity and preventing poor maternal/infant outcomes.
Nurturing a Healthy Dyad: The Importance of Maternal and Infant Mental Health explores the needed measures to help address mental health for mothers and/or caregivers and infants while highlighting some of the solutions currently in place, including MC3 Perinatal, Infant Mental Health Home Visiting (IMH-HV) and integrated infant mental health services where trained staff is embedded in pediatric and OB/GYN settings. The accompanying policy recommendations discuss the need for funding and reimbursement for additional maternal mental health (depression) screenings, utilizing incentives to encourage patient participation and to improve referral follow-up practices and expanded use of innovative screening tools like High Tech, High Touch (HT2) that provide prompt referral and follow-up to identified needs with sustainable funding.
Diversifying the Healthcare Workforce: Implications for Birth Outcomes explores how a racially and ethnically diverse maternal and child health care workforce remains a distant goal that is contingent on improving the educational pipeline from elementary to advanced education, the reduction of financial barriers, as well as psychological and skill building services from mentorship programs. The policy recommendations on this issue include incorporating measures of workforce diversity into system performance metrics, such as hospital community needs assessments; increasing and enhancing educational loan repayment programs by examining barriers to participation by underrepresented populations; and having insurers provide incentive payments to provider organizations that demonstrate workforce diversity, as well as concordance with patient population.