Maternal and Child Health

CAI helps health departments, state agencies, community-based organizations, and community members promote health and wellness for mothers, children, and families. Through our training, technical assistance, and implementation support, we help health care providers strengthen their services, and we help community health workers maximize their impact with people they serve.

We are currently working with 21 community-based, grassroots organizations serving largely Black and Hispanic populations, including large immigrant and refugee communities, in the zip codes of New York City with the highest maternal and infant mortality rates. We are helping these organizations enhance their services and advance best practices in areas essential to women’s and infants’ health, such as safe sleep, toxic stress, and trauma.

CAI has supported Special Supplemental Nutrition Services for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs across the country, and for several years we have served as New York State’s WIC Training Center. We help agencies improve their services by establishing and building core competencies of staff, improving wait times and work flows, and promoting effective communication skills. We have also supported major transformations in WIC programs to focus on participant-centered program delivery and a more holistic approach to nutrition, and have increased focus on the effects of maternal depression and on peer-delivered breastfeeding support services. Our commitment to meeting the behavioral health needs of mothers is expanding as we build a comprehensive curriculum that can be utilized nationally by community health workers, promotoras de salud, health educators, and others to identify clients in need and provide frontline support to ensure that they have access to mental health services.

Through our Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) initiative, which is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CAI has worked with communities to create several model programs. These include a breastfeeding initiative led by and for Black women.

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