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More help for Black parents and babies

Every baby deserves a healthy start and a healthy life.

A new grant from Ballmer Group will help Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department improve the health of Black infants and parents in Pierce County. We’ll use the 3-year, $1 million grant to pilot a redesigned Black Infant Health (BIH) program and create a model that community organizations and local health jurisdictions across the state can replicate.

“In Pierce County, Black infants and mothers die at more than twice the rate of their white counterparts,” said Sebrena Chambers, Division Director of Strengthening Families. “Healthy parents with healthy babies is one of our highest priorities. This grant will help our work to address that devastating disparity.”

Ballmer Group has awarded more than $850 million in grants across the U.S. Ballmer Group is committed to improving economic mobility for children and families in the United States, funding leaders and organizations that have demonstrated the ability to reshape opportunity and reduce systemic inequities.

“Ballmer Group is pleased to support the Black Infant Health Program in their work to decrease Black infant and maternal mortality rates,” said Andi Smith, Executive Director at Ballmer Group. “This grant strengthens this vital program and expands their ability to serve more people and families in Tacoma and Pierce County.”

The grant will support our BIH program to offer home visits to Black parents and babies from a Black community health worker, postpartum support provided by a Black public health nurse, low-barrier peer support groups, and birth doula services for some enrolled clients.

Community health workers provide ongoing support to Black parents from pregnancy through the child’s first birthday and help families with things like:

  • Assess needs and link them to services during pregnancy and infancy.
  • Help them complete applications and paperwork.
  • Advocate for their needs with social and healthcare providers.
  • Provide mentorship, emotional support, and health education.
  • Supporting them to make and pursue school and work goals.

As the only BIH program in Washington since 2009, we’ve been working hard to ensure all babies can thrive in Pierce County. This investment will expand that work and help us continue to save lives.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.

A Black mother cuddles a Black baby. Black parents and babies in Pierce County will soon get more support thanks to a $1 million grant from Ballmer Group.

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