A West Virginia program designed to reduce infant mortality has received almost 5.5 million dollars in continued federal funding for the next five years.
The Healthy Start Appalachian Parents and Infants Project aims to reduce preterm labor and low birth weight babies by focusing on improving health for women and families. Initiatives include screening and counseling for depression, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, breastfeeding support, and parenting support.
The program is administered by WVU and WVU Medicine and funded by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.
The goal of Healthy Start is to serve communities with infant mortality rates at least 1.5 times the United States national average and with high rates of other poor maternal and infant outcomes. The continued funding will allow the WV program to expand from 8 counties to 9.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.