March 17, 2011

Education grant helps maternal-infant program

The Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) program, a part of the Vanderbilt University Center for Health Services, was recently awarded a grant of $25,000 from the Baptist Healing Trust.

According to Barbara Clinton, director of the Center for Health Services, funds from this grant will be used to:

• Educate and mentor pregnant women and young mothers at-risk for poor health outcomes;

• Provide educational and social group activities to disadvantaged Hispanic families;

• Train local mothers in Davidson County as community health outreach workers;

• Train more than 50 outreach workers across the southeast regarding reducing risk of infant mortality and morbidity; and

• Collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
MIHOW is a home visiting program for low-income pregnant women and families in underserved communities in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The program trains experienced mothers in these low-income communities to educate, mentor and model positive health behaviors.

Parents participate in monthly home visits and networking groups beginning in pregnancy until their children reach age 3.

The center partners with Catholic Charities to provide MIHOW services to approximately 60 Hispanic families in Davidson County.