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Perinatal and Infant Community Health Collaboratives

The goal of the Perinatal and Infant Community Health Collaboratives (PICHC) initiative is to support community-based efforts to improve overall health and well-being of birthing people and their families and improve health outcomes. The PICHC program works together with communities to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic disparities in health outcomes and address the factors that affect racial and ethnic disparities. PICHC programs use a reproductive justice framework, which means ensuring that every person understands their right to make decisions about their own bodies, including whether they want to have children or not, and have access to and the ability for parenting children in safe and healthy communities.

Through the PICHC initiative, New York State is working to improve perinatal and infant health outcomes for high-need, low income, Medicaid eligible individuals and their families. Key priority outcomes include reducing:

  • Preterm Births; births occurring before 37 weeks gestation (of pregnancy);

  • Low Birth Weight; an infant weighing less than 2,500 grams at birth;

  • Infant Mortality; an infant death from the time of birth until the day of the infant’s first birthday; and

  • Maternal Mortality; the death of a birthing individual while pregnant or within one year of the end of pregnancy.

PICHC programs use strategies to improve the health and well-being of individuals of reproductive age and their families with a focus on individuals in the prenatal, postpartum, and interconception periods. PICHC programs use individual-level approaches to improve perinatal health behaviors, and community-level approaches to address the social factors that impact health outcomes (Social Determinants of Health | CDC). The core individual-level strategy is the use of Community Health Workers (CHWs) to outreach and provide supports to eligible individuals at risk for, or with a history of, poor birth outcomes. Community-level strategies involve collaboration with diverse community partners, including community residents, to mobilize community action, and to address the social determinants impacting perinatal health outcomes. Community mobilization and engagement involves active participation by community members on community boards or coalitions, and participation in advocacy training to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health care.

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