CATALYST - WINTER 2019 Volume 2 No 1 - Page 13

WINTER 2019 Foundation Partnerships help improve Infant Health Outcomes H ealthcare Foundation has announced the results of Taking Care of You (TCOY), a four-year, $2.5 million initiative to reduce adverse birth outcomes in Georgia. The Initiative represents the most rigorously designed, implemented, and evaluated investment in the Foundation’s 17 years of grantmaking. Three Georgia public health districts – Clayton County Board of Health, Lowndes County Board of Health, and the Southwest Public Health District - received grant support through TCOY to increase their capacity to implement various strategies to reduce preterm births, low birth weight, and infant- related deaths. Emory University conducted the evaluation and Porter Novelli developed a social marketing campaign for the Initiative. Clients benefitted from each program in different ways with each site successful incorporating reproductive life planning, breastfeeding awareness, and safe sleep education. seriously consider what’s at stake and what can be accomplished when we apply evidence -based programs with skill and compassion.” The TCOY evaluation revealed that underlying factors that contribute to poor and infant health outcomes also contribute to poor maternal health outcomes. Amnesty International recently ranked Georgia as 50 th in the national for its maternal mortality rate. The evaluation results offer Healthcare Georgia Foundation the opportunity to leverage resources by partnering with community-based nonprofits, policy groups and other organizations to focus on women’s overall health as well as the social determinants of health that impact adverse birth outcomes in Georgia. ◼ The results, detailed in the Foundation’s Results Matter publication, showed that TCOY served as an important public health model for delivering comprehensive education and services in high- disparity communities seeking ways to reduce adverse infant health outcomes. During implementation, none of the programs reported sleep-related infant deaths. “The results speak to the need and opportunity to address our State’s dismal rankings on infant and maternal mortality,” said Gary D. Nelson, PhD, Foundation president. “We urge Georgians to ACHIEVING HEALTH EQUITY FOR ALL 13