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Mayor Adams’ Initiative reaches milestone, over 12,000 families benefit health services

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Mayor Eric Adams and Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced a significant milestone in maternal and infant healthcare, revealing that over 12,000 families have received crucial support services through expanded doula and midwifery programs over the past two years.

This achievement underscores the administration’s commitment to addressing racial disparities in maternal health and advancing HealthyNYC’s goal of reducing Black maternal mortality by 10 percent by 2030.

The $34 million New Family Home Visits Initiative, launched to expand access to doula and midwifery services, has seen widespread success in delivering essential care to new and expectant parents.

Trained health workers, including nurses, doulas, lactation consultants, and community health workers, conduct in-person or virtual visits to homes, offering comprehensive support and connecting families with vital services crucial for maternal and child well-being.

The initiative encompasses three key programs: the Newborn Home Visits Program, Nurse Family Partnership, and Citywide Doula Initiative. Since its inception, the Newborn Home Visit Program has served approximately 9,500 families, providing education, identifying health needs, and facilitating referrals.

The Nurse Family Partnership, an evidence-based program, has assisted around 1,200 families from early pregnancy to their child’s second birthday. Additionally, the Citywide Doula Initiative has supported over 1,900 clients, offering prenatal care, continuous childbirth support, postpartum assistance, and breastfeeding guidance.

Mayor Adams emphasized the urgent need to address racial disparities in maternal health, highlighting that Black New Yorkers are four times more likely than white New Yorkers to experience pregnancy-associated deaths.

The administration’s proactive measures, including citywide expansion of doula services, legislative efforts to strengthen maternal health, and setting ambitious mortality reduction targets, demonstrate a commitment to improving birth equity and ensuring healthier outcomes for all families.

“Since day one, our administration has prioritized supporting expecting families and addressing maternal mortality,” Mayor Adams remarked. “Our actions, from expanding doula programs to signing bills strengthening maternal health, reflect our commitment to reducing disparities and creating a safer, healthier city for future generations.”

The New Family Home Visits Initiative not only provides critical support but also streamlines access through a pioneering web-based referral system, simplifying connections to community resources tailored to families’ needs.

This innovative approach earned recognition with the Government Technology Best of New York City Award in November 2023.

In response to this milestone, local leaders have commended Mayor Adams and Health Commissioner Vasan for their investments in maternal health. State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud praised the initiative’s expansion of doula and midwifery care, while Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar underscored its role in reducing Black maternal mortality.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Councilmember Lynn Schulman emphasized the City Council’s commitment to addressing healthcare disparities, citing legislative efforts to expand access to vital services.

The administration’s initiatives not only bolster maternal and infant health but also exemplify a broader commitment to gender equity, aligning with Mayor Adams’ vision to make New York City a national leader in promoting gender equality and supporting women’s health and well-being.

The success of the New Family Home Visits Initiative signifies a significant step forward in achieving equitable healthcare outcomes and building healthier, more resilient communities across New York City.

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