NICHQ Joins Coalition of Leading Experts to Address Perinatal Mental Health Crisis
A Center for Disease Control (CDC) study finds that around 1 in 8 women report experiencing symptoms of maternal depression. Perinatal depression is depression that occurs during or after pregnancy. Perinatal Mental Health is an urgent public health issue in the United States.
In response to the national maternal perinatal mental health crisis, The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) has joined the Mind the Gap Initiative, a coalition of women, families, and leading organizations, led by Postpartum Support International (PSI), who have set forth a national strategic action plan to turn the tide on the crisis.
Despite baseline numbers indicating that at least 600,000 women will develop perinatal depression each year related to a live birth, there are significant disparities across the nation — in public awareness, health professional education and training, and research, and, on the patient side, coverage of and access to screening, diagnosis, treatment, support, and prevention services. This is the Gap.
In addition to an ongoing conversation among healthcare professionals and parents and families, The Mind the Gap initiative has identified targeted actions in policy, outreach, and healthcare delivery, along with establishing a national coordinating entity, as necessary actions to bridge the gap and address these disparities.
“The impacts of perinatal depression and maternal mental health disorders can be devastating to mothers and birthing people, their children, and families. That’s why this work is not only necessary for NICHQ – it’s urgent,” said NICHQ President and CEO Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP. “Maternal depression can have a range of effects on the health of infants, including physical, physiological, psychological, and behavioral. To ensure we achieve our mission of every child reaching their optimal health, we are also dedicated to addressing the physical and mental health needs of mothers and birthing people.”
NICHQ’s Commitment to Closing the Gap
Persisting disparities in perinatal depression rates impact people who are Black, Native, or from other communities of color. However, structural racism causes significant inequities in the diagnosis of perinatal and maternal mental health disorders and access to perinatal and maternal mental health treatment. Creating pathways to equitable maternal mental health care is a critical component of reducing other overwhelming disparities in perinatal care.
NICHQ is committed to achieving equity in all forms, including race, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability. Currently, NICHQ serves as the coordinating center for the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC). The NNPQC provides resources and expertise to nationwide state-based perinatal quality collaboratives (PQCs) with the goal of deepening and accelerating improvement efforts for maternal and infant health outcomes, including reducing racial/ethnic and geographic disparities.
Learn more about NICHQ and the NNPQC’s work with PQCs to help reduce preterm births, reduce severe pregnancy complications associated with high blood pressure and hemorrhage, improve identification of and care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome, reduce racial/ethnic and geographic disparities, and reduce cesarean births among low-risk pregnant women.
NICHQ Welcomes Three New Board Members
Three experts in health care transformation have been elected to the National Institute for Children’s Healthy Quality (NICHQ) Board of Directors. LaToshia Rouse, CD (DONA) joined the NICHQ board in March 2022, and Jeanette Betancourt, Ed. D., and Laurie Doran, MPH, joined in August 2022.
NICHQ Announces Staffing Changes in Development, Finance, and Programs
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) is pleased to announce the recent promotions of several dedicated members of our Development, Finance, and Programs teams. Join NICHQ in celebrating our staff and welcoming them to their new roles.
NICHQ Selected for Unprecedented National Partnership to Improve Kindergarten Readiness
As part of a $6.5 million partnership funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), NICHQ, in collaboration with StriveTogether, will be leading an initiative to support early childhood health. It focuses on increasing school readiness and reducing disparities in children ages birth to 3 by building the capability of local providers to track and leverage data to drive improvement.
NICHQ to Lead the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives Coordinating Center
NICHQ is proud to announce it was selected to be the coordinating center for the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC). In this role, NICHQ will serve as the resource hub for state-based perinatal quality collaboratives (PQCs) working on initiatives to improve maternal and child health outcomes. More specifically, NICHQ will provide change management and quality improvement (QI) technical assistance and facilitate network communication.
NICHQ Partners with AMCHP on Maternal and Child Environmental Health CoIIN
NICHQ’s expertise in running collaborative improvement and innovation networks (CoIINs) has landed it the role of leader of all CoIIN activities for a new Maternal and Child Environmental Health Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (MCEH CoIIN). The program aims to improve systems of care to address the needs of maternal, infant and child populations that are at risk for or experience exposure to lead.