LAREDO, TEXAS — On the heels of National Women’s Health Week (May 13-19), BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS) hosts a Women’s Health Fair on May 31 from 9am- 1pm at the Rio Bravo Community Center in Rio Bravo, Texas. Free medical services will be offered to new and expectant mothers to monitor and improve their health and well-being.
The health of mothers and their babies begins in the earliest stages of pregnancy and even before becoming pregnant,” said BCFS System President & CEO Kevin Dinnin. “By connecting them to quality care as early as possible in the first trimester of their pregnancy, we may be able to reduce or even eliminate some of the risks of poor pregnancy outcomes for women and infants.
Funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration as part of the Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) initiative, BCFS HHS is the Texas Lead for the Border States CoIIN, which brings together key partners working in US-Mexico Border communities with some of the lowest rates of early and adequate prenatal care in the nation. Under the Border States CoIIN, a network of local teams from Imperial County, California; Santa Cruz County, Arizona; Doña Ana County, New Mexico; and Val Verde County, Texas, are designing innovative strategies to increase first-trimester prenatal care by 10% by 2020.
Teams from each state are holding “design sprints” for their innovations and will receive funding for 18-month demonstration projects to pilot successful prototypes. Proposed prototypes include:
- Prenatal walk-in appointments to reduce appointment scheduling delays in New Mexico;
- Mobile phone-based reminders for well-woman and prenatal care that link to electronic medical records to facilitate ongoing relationships with doctors in Arizona;
- Training nurses who will conduct free pregnancy tests to educate women and screen them to fill gaps in support and care in Texas; and,
- Creating a binational network in California of trusted prenatal care providers to track care received on both sides of the border.
“Teams are thinking about scalability from the start,” says Katherine Selchau, Border States CoIIN Project Director.
“The goal is to disseminate and scale innovations that demonstrate measurable improvements across the region and beyond.”