Press Release

UniteMKE & UnitedHealthcare Community Plan Partners to address Milwaukee’s Infant Mortality Rate and Improve Birth Outcomes

Infant mortality is higher in the U.S. than in comparable countries and in Milwaukee’s communities of color, the infant mortality rate of 14.5 for blacks is the highest in the nation.

By - Sep 28th, 2018 06:01 pm

Milwaukee, WI – Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 12pm in the Metcalfe Park Neighborhood between 36th and 37th and Wright St. UniteMKE & UnitedHealthcare Community Plan will announce the “Pathways to Healthy Birth Outcomes” initiative to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes for Milwaukee’s high-risk, under-resourced families through outcomebased family care coordination.

“Connecting families to Community Health Workers/care coordinators not only allows for moms to gain better access to prenatal care but also allows for the needed support of dads and the other members in the home who serve as the support system for moms.” Bria Grant, Executive Director of UniteMKE.

Infant mortality is higher in the U.S. than in comparable countries and in Milwaukee’s communities of color, the infant mortality rate of 14.5 for blacks is the highest in the nation. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of data from OECD (2017), “OECD Health Data: Health status: Health status indicators”, OECD Health Statistics database . (Accessed on July 5, 2017)

The “Pathways to Health Birth Outcomes” will connect pregnant women and their families to the resources needed to reduce the life stressors that impact healthy birth outcomes. Living in poor, segregated neighborhoods, having to move frequently, parenting alone, or parenting with an unemployed partner—often leads to chronic conditions and stress, which takes a toll on the body and may prompt biological changes in a woman that can affect the health of her children. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/racism-induced-stress-black-infant-mortality/

The announcement will take place during UniteMKE’s “Transition Community Fair” 11am-4pm where the residents have been invited to take advantage of free health screenings, employment opportunities, food, games and giveaways. UniteMKE will have Community Health Workers available to connect pregnant residents to services included but not limited to selfmanagement, substance use, behavioral health, postpartum and employment.

Bria Grant,  Executive Director, UniteMKE.  UNITE MKE improves the health of Milwaukee by training and coordinating community organizations and community health workers—ultimately tearing down silos to help break Milwaukee’s cycle of poverty, under-education and violence.  UniteMKE launched in November of 2016 and connects neighborhood organizations, health care partners, community health workers and the country’s best trainers. UniteMKE exposes the wires behind the myriad of needs of families and wide variety of services available in Milwaukee. They arm frontline community health workers with a powerful app as they go door-todoor and family-to-family—a powerful resource that tracks multiple pathways to health while measuring progress and success.
Kathy Schoenauer RN, BSN, CCM. Director Medical & Clinical Operations UnitedHealthcare Community & State is a health benefits company dedicated to providing diversified solutions that care for the economically disadvantaged, the medically underserved and those without benefit of employer-funded health care coverage. UnitedHealthcare Community Plan see themselves as architects who collaborate with partners of all kinds to design the infrastructure of good health. We are bringing together patients, physicians, and local experts to help people meet the full spectrum of their wellness needs. And in the process, we are helping entire communities strengthen their physical, social and economic health.
Sherri Ohly, Health Promotion Specialist for the Chronic Disease Prevention Unit at the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH). Sherri provides leadership, technical assistance and guidance for diabetes and chronic disease prevention/management activity, programming, and system changes in Wisconsin. Sherri serves as the lead public health staff in the state for Community Health Worker strategies and the Stanford-licensed selfmanagement programs, engaging and mobilizing public-private partnerships to ensure success.

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