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Grantee Blog 2020

Closing the maternal and child health gap during the COVID‐19 pandemic

Reach Out, Stay Strong, Essentials for mothers of newborns (ROSE)

African American women across the income spectrum are dying from preventable pregnancy-related complications at three to four times the rate of non-Hispanic white women. The death rate for black infants is twice that of infants born to non-Hispanic white mothers. African Americans have the highest rate of Infant Mortality than any other racial or ethnic group in the US. Systemic racism promotes social, economic, and health care disparities leading to the preventable deaths of Black women and their newborns.  

The most effective public health responses promote partnerships among public health organizations, health care providers, community groups, and other stakeholders. Partnerships must address the social, behavioral, and health risk factors that contribute to infant mortality.

The Bergen Family Center is doing just this with the NJ Healthy Women, Healthy Families Initiative funded by the NJ Department of Health

Prevention and wrap-around services are provided by our NJ DCF funded Family Success Center.

Our Maternal Child Health Community Worker relies on partnerships to meet the complex needs of pregnant and postpartum women. In addition to providing breast pumps, diapers, clothing, and other baby essentials, our staff offers information and referral and case management services increasing access to primary health care and mental health services.

Addressing postpartum depression is a priority. Because of COVID-19, our services are now delivered virtually and over the phone. This has not deterred our staff or moms. In September, 11 moms graduated from our ROSE program. 

About the Grantee

Bergen Family Center

Founded in 1898 by the Woman’s Club of Englewood, as an after-school program for vulnerable youth, Bergen Family Center is Bergen County’s oldest continuously operating family service agency. We value early learning; promote healthy youth development, provide prevention, intervention, and counseling services, offer critical support to families, and help older adults age in place with dignity.