Mayor David Briley joined Dr. Wendy Long, Director of the Metro Public Health Department, to announce a $5.47 million, five-year federal Healthy Start grant to increase health outcomes for mothers and babies in Nashville communities experiencing maternal and child health disparities.
The Nashville Strong Babies Project will provide pre and postnatal care, case management and home-visiting services for around 700 women and families each year. Women and babies living in the 37115, 37207, 37208, 37210, 37216, 37218 and 37221 zip codes will be eligible to receive services.
“No matter where you live in our city, you deserve to access to quality healthcare and services. This program will provide pregnant women and new moms the care and services they need to ensure their babies thrive,” said Mayor Briley. “Thank you to Metro Health for their leadership in securing this grant that will save lives and make a lasting difference for Nashville families.”
“The Nashville Strong Babies Project will fund care coordination services, innovative clinical and community programs in Nashville neighborhoods that experience the highest rates of infant mortality,” said Dr. Long. “The goal is to reduce the disparities in infant deaths that exist today across racial and ethnic groups so that every family has the opportunity to celebrate the first birthday of their newborn.”
Additional services will be contracted to provide group prenatal care, group pediatric care and other health services for women and families so mothers can access medical care and education during the perinatal period and through their child’s first 18 months of life.
Most infant deaths are due to babies being born too soon, too small or from being placed in unsafe sleeping conditions.
Sleep-related deaths, which are preventable, declined in Nashville by 29 percent between 2015 and 2016 and an additional 13 percent between 2016 to 2017, but significant racial disparities still exist.
The Nashville Strong Babies Project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).