Overview and Inventory of HHS Efforts to Assist Incarcerated and Reentering Individuals and their Families . Innovative Approaches to a Healthy Weight and Mental Wellness in Women Demonstration Grants


Funding Mechanism: Grant

Total Available Funding: $1.15 million

Number of Awards: 8

Award Amount: Awards range from $143,750 to $147,000

Length of Project Period: 3years; August 1, 2009 to July 21, 2012

Federal Partners: None

Summary: The purpose of this program is to support projects which develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate novel approaches that concurrently address the relationship between women’s physical health and mental health during the perinatal period. For the purposes of this grant the perinatal period is defined as during pregnancy and up to one year after delivery, including women who may not have had a positive birth outcome. One of the awarded grantees provides mental health services to a women’s correctional facility.

Background: Broadening the scope of primary care for women by adopting a women’s health approach for the MCH population could be an efficient means of improving both birth outcomes and women’s health status. Current areas of interest and focus in the field include the influence of pregnancy weight on maternal and child health, postpartum weight retention and perinatal depression. Currently one grantee, Christiana Care Health System, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware conducts a perinatal depression support group at Baylor Women’s Corrections. The MOM’s HEAL (Moms’ Outreach to Moms through Helping, Empowering, Advocacy and Listening) support group meets weekly with additional weekly phone support from several other community locations. The MOM’s HEAL support group uses peer support mothers to lead the weekly groups. Peer support mothers follow the clients for 6-12 months through monthly phone calls and inpatient visits. Current reported barriers for women in this program include stigma, location, child care and time. The grantee plans to expand the MOM’s HEAL support groups to three additional sites including the YWCA, Claymont Community Center, the People’s Settlement and add one more group at the Baylor Women’s Correction’s facility.

Location(s) of Projects: Delaware

Evaluation Activities: Each project is responsible for designing and implementing their own evaluation, which include pre- and post-tests on knowledge, attitude and behaviors.

Future Prospects: one-time funding


Lisa R. King, MA, Project Officer
Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services
Phone: 301-443-9739 
Email: Lking@hrsa.gov

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