Community-based organizations (CBOs) have long played a key role in advancing equity and supporting the health of moms and babies. CBOs address critical gaps and unmet maternal and child health needs in communities of color and low-income communities, and are essential to reducing disparities. However, even the most successful CBO-led initiatives face serious challenges in securing long-term, sustainable funding and in scaling their models to reach more people. Because Medicaid is a significant source of health coverage for pregnant women, young mothers, and children, Medicaid programs should provide sustained funding for innovative community-based models that have a proven track record of improving equity and maternal health outcomes.
This paper provides background on the current health crisis facing Black women and babies, explores how CBOs are developing effective models to address equity and poor health outcomes, explains how Medicaid is a crucial source of coverage for children and pregnant women, and shares findings from an analysis we conducted to identify promising models in 70 communities across the nation. Our goal is to inform advocates and policymakers about successful maternal and child health models, to spur communities to replicate them, and to encourage CBOs to work with key state stakeholders to secure sustainable Medicaid funding for these models.