Strong Start: Resources for Expectant Mothers

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ANA and several of its organizational affiliates are working with leaders of a new national program aimed at reducing the risk of serious complications and long-term health problems for expectant mothers and newborns.

ANA is helping to promote Strong Start, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) public-private partnership that advocates reducing early elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks. Evidence shows that early elective deliveries without medical indication are associated with increased maternal and neonatal complications for mothers and newborns compared to deliveries after 39 weeks.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which is administering Strong Start, is offering Strong Start grant funding to health care providers, states and other applicants to test the effectiveness of three approaches to reduce the rate of pre-term births for women at risk and who are covered by Medicaid.

ANA, along with its organizational affiliates the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), are helping to disseminate the Strong Start toolkits for health care providers and consumer, patient and community-based organizations. The toolkits contain patient safety checklists, resources for communicating with expectant mothers and other information to help prevent non-medically necessary deliveries before 39 weeks.

Please share the Strong Start toolkit resources with registered nurses and other health care providers who work with expectant mothers, patients, and organizations concerned with maternal and child health.

Strong Start is leveraging the framework established by the Partnership for Patients to support hospitals, clinicians, and health care teams in the effort to decrease the number of early elective deliveries. Partnership for Patients is a public-private partnership sponsored by HHS to improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care. More than 3,000 hospitals have joined the partnership, with the main goals to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. ANA is a participant in the partnership.

Partnership for Patients provides these resources for the Strong Start program, including resources from AWHONN.

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