HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) awarded the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) more than $1.4 million in funding to continue the state’s Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) work through March of 2023.

“We are deeply committed to the health and well-being of mothers and children across the commonwealth,” DDAP Secretary Jen Smith said. “Meeting the needs of this vulnerable population requires a collaborative approach across the health care system and this funding will help assure that they are directly connected with services to help them, and their newborn or soon-to-be newborn thrive.”

The PA PQC supports healthcare providers across the commonwealth in implementing key interventions in response to the causes of maternal death. These interventions include a focus on maternal substance use, substance-exposed newborns, maternal depression, severe hypertension, and reducing racial/ethnic disparities.

“The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is proud to partner with JHF on the Moving on Maternal Depression (MOMD) initiative to make sure that women and people who have given birth receive the mental and behavioral health care they need and deserve,” Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead said.

“While this program is an important step in addressing and hopefully reversing the tragic maternal mortality rates in Pennsylvania, we must commit to tangible steps – like continued support for programs that prioritize perinatal health for both parents and children – that will help moms, babies, parents, and families thrive,” Snead added.

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The PA PQC currently included 53 birth sites and NICUs representing 81% of live births in the commonwealth. For more information about Pennsylvania’s Perinatal Quality Collaborative and the work they do, click here.