Evolving health challenges – including maternal mortality, opioids, and CYSHCN – require “sustained investment in public health,” Wilcox tells House Appropriations subcommittee.
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs President Cate Wilcox urged Congress today to boost funding for the Title V MCH Services Block Grant next year by $20 million to help states combat new and evolving health challenges facing America’s families.
“We are proud of recent progress in lowering our nation’s infant mortality rate, reducing teen pregnancy, and decreasing the incidence of childhood injury,” Wilcox said in written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. “The United States, however, is currently faced with many other maternal and child health challenges that require a sustained investment in public health approaches.”
Wilcox, the Title V director for the state of Oregon, thanked Congress for having increased the block grant funding to $678 million for the current fiscal year, and urged that Congress raise the funding to $698 million for fiscal year 2020.
She explained that the block grant is driven by evidence, flexibility, and results to: 1) ensure access to quality maternal and child health services; 2) reduce infant mortality and preventable diseases and conditions; and 3) provide and promote family centered, community-based, coordinated care for children with special health care needs. That flexibility, she said, “allows states and jurisdictions to design and implement a wide range of maternal and child health programs that respond to locally-defined needs.”
Wilcox observed that the grants have played a critical role in helping states address maternal mortality, particularly supporting maternal mortality review committees. More Title V funding would enable states to increase resources to their committees. More Title V funding would also help states address the opioid epidemic and support systems of care for children and youth with special health care needs, Wilcox said.
See her full testimony.