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Grant improves access to prenatal care for Clark County women


Janis Koch, Public Health
Phone: (360) 397-8000, ext. 7278

Vancouver, WA – A second $15,000 grant from the March of Dimes Foundation Greater Oregon Chapter will help Clark County Public Health expand its Pregnancy Partners program, which promotes first trimester prenatal care for women in Clark County.

The grant will fund community outreach and volunteer training to help pregnant women apply for health insurance, make clinic appointments and access community resources such as transportation and the federal Women, Infants and Children nutrition program.

”Low income women are less likely than other women to receive adequate prenatal care, regardless of race, ethnicity or geography,” said Janis Koch, program manager. “Because first trimester prenatal care is so important for healthy birth outcomes, the primary goal of Pregnancy Partners is to give low-income women greater access to this care.”

For information on getting first trimester prenatal care or becoming a volunteer, please call (360) 397-8254.

The Washington State Department of Health’s Maternal and Child Health Data Report shows the percentage of women entering first trimester prenatal care declined statewide from 81 percent in 2003 to 75 percent in 2009, with Clark County’s rate at 75 percent. Late prenatal care can result in health problems for mothers and infants and substantially higher medical costs and hospitalization rates for infants with low birth weight.

According to National Center for Health Statistics, United States ranked 12th among developed nations in infant mortality rates in 1960. By 2006, its ranking slipped to 31st, despite the U.S. spending more per capita on health care than any other developed nation.

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