The Suffolk County Department of Health Services - Maternal and Infant Community Health Collaborative is a NYSDOH grant funded project designed to improve the health of women ages 12-44 and their families. The Suffolk County MICHC project has chosen to focus on 6 high risk zip codes located in Western Suffolk County: Amityville, 11701, Bay Shore, 11706, Brentwood, 11717, Central Islip, 11722, Copiague, 11726 and Wyandanch, 11798. In these areas, the effects of racial, ethnic and economic disparities are evident. To reduce/eliminate these disparities there is a need for improved health care for women and children coupled with community collaborations to raise awareness of Women's Health across their life cycle. Key priority outcomes include reducing:
- Preterm Births, births occurring before 37 weeks gestation (of pregnancy)
- Low Birth Weight, an infant weighing less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds 8 ounces) at birth
- Infant Mortality, an infant death from the time of birth until the day of the infant’s first birthday
- Maternal Mortality, death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy due to complications of the pregnancy.
The Suffolk County MICHC embraces strategies and activities that address maternal and infant health behaviors at multiple levels, by addressing women’s health across their life course. We aim to help women be as healthy as possible before, during and after pregnancy. Our plan is to build on community strengths and develop an inclusive network and partnership of community organizations to work to reduce health disparities and improve women’s health. As part of the MICHC plan to improve maternal and infant health:
- Community Health Workers will provide education, case coordination and home-visiting services to pregnant and parenting women, and coordinate health and social service linkage and follow-up for low-income women, teens and families to increase utilization and continuity of care. They also provide group and individual education.
- The MICHC initiative will develop and facilitate a collaborative of local health, social service and community providers to create a referral network to increase service access and to identify gaps in service. The Collaborative also works to identify, address and improve barriers to health for women of child-bearing age.
- Suffolk County MICHC will work with our partners and community leaders to improve community conditions and opportunities that make it easier for people to make healthy choices.
The Maternal and Infant Community Health Collaborative is committed to:
- Promote healthy lifestyle opportunities for women of child-bearing age and their families.
- Find and engage high-need women and their families in health insurance, healthcare and other needed community services, such as mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence.
- Support and improve maternal, infant and child health services in Amityville, Bay Shore, Brentwood, Central Islip, Copiague and Wyandanch communities.
- Reduce/eliminate disparities in health outcomes for women, infants and children in our 6 targeted communities.
- Develop and maintain collaborative community partnerships to enhance and support maternal and infant and child health services.
- Work with our community partners to influence public policy and effect social norms in regard to maternal, infant and child health services.