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LOOKING TO THE FUTURE FOR HEALTHY MOMS & BABIES

May 2nd, 2015

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE FOR HEALTHY MOMS & BABIES

For more than 33 years, the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) has been a leading voice for maternal and child health and safety, building and leveraging partnerships as a catalyst for change.

From the beginning, we were about bringing together diverse stakeholders around shared priorities. The coalition originally convened in 1981 in response to the U.S. Surgeon General’s conference on infant mortality, led by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), March of Dimes, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Nurses Association (ANA), National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and the U.S. Public Health Service. Originally HMHB focused on improving the quality and reach of public and professional education on prenatal and infant care. But over time, the coalition expanded to become a recognized convening power and resource for maternal and child health more broadly, reaching an estimated 10 million healthcare professionals, parents, and policymakers through robust partnerships and the membership of more than 100 local, state, and national organizations.

Over the course of HMHB’s long history, our programs, activities, and educational materials for both consumers and professionals have tapped into the power of partnerships to lead the way on issues like breastfeeding, immunization, prematurity, child passenger safety, perinatal nutrition, maternal mental health, and infant mortality prevention. We also worked closely with our network of state and local Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies coalitions who brought these resources and more into their communities to directly serve the mothers, babies and families who are most in need.  Most recently we built a true collaborative of parent leaders and professionals in the National Premature Infant Health Coalition, convened experts and the latest science in the Perinatal Nutrition Working Group, and helped parents prepare for well-baby visits through Healthy Beginnings for Babies.

And we couldn’t be prouder of Text4baby, the first of its kind and largest mobile health initiative in the nation. Through innovation and unprecedented public-private partnerships, the free Text4baby service has reached nearly one million pregnant women and new moms since 2010, providing customized information and tips they need to keep themselves and their babies healthy.

Much has changed over the past three decades, for HMHB and for maternal and child health. But our commitment to our core values remains unchanged. We believe in every child’s right to be born healthy and raised in a safe and nurturing environment. Equal access to quality health care. Eliminating health disparities. Cultural competence and respect for diversity. Education to encourage healthy choices and outcomes. And a collective voice to facilitate change.

That commitment is why we’re looking to the future. This year brings new growth opportunities for two of our key programs, with significant potential to expand their reach and outcomes for moms, babies, and families. In January, the National Premature Infant Health Coalition (NPIHC) moved to a new home under the management of Alliance for Patient Access, a national network of physicians dedicated to positive change.

On May 1, our operations move to ZERO TO THREE, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families (ZTT).  ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that provides parents, professionals and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development.  ZERO TO THREE will continue to operate Text4Baby and ensure that this vital service continues uninterrupted.  Our focus on health combined with ZERO TO THREE’s emphasis on social and emotional well-being will create a powerful voice for babies and mothers.

Though the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition will cease operations in 2015, HMHB’s work will live on through these programs and through each of you – our partners and friends who are dedicated to advancing maternal and child health each and every day. The many state and local HMHB coalitions across the country will continue to carry on our work directly in the communities they serve. The future is in good hands. We’re grateful for all we’ve achieved together over these many years. And we sincerely thank each of you for your commitment and support.

Together for healthy moms and babies,
The Board of Directors & Staff of HMHB