March of Dimes grant to fund study of health outcomes of Native American infants

(Yakima)  A collaborative partnership between several Yakima Valley health organizations got a boost from the March of Dimes in the form of a $10,000 grant.   Yakima Indian Health Center, Yakama Nation WIC, Yakama Reservation Wellness Coalition, Yakima Neighborhood Health, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Toppenish Community Hospital, Washington State University and University of Washington have formed “Ttáwaxt:  Our Heritage, Our Future”.   The group’s goal is to build a foundation for improving health outcomes for Native American infants in the Yakima Valley.

            The funding will be used to build upon the cultural strengths within the community and expand the knowledge of those who serve Native American women and their children.   The focus of this grant will be to understand several factors in maternal health:   current prenatal behaviors, access to prenatal services, and any other barriers that may hinder a healthy pregnancy.  The collaborative partners will develop a needs assessment, survey focus groups, educate clinical providers, and develop future strategic plans.

This issue has become a priority due to the increasing Native American infant mortality rate in Yakima County.  It is double the rate in the State of Washington.

“The health of our women and children is vital to a thriving community,” said Bertha Lopez, community outreach manager for Memorial.   “The “Ttáwaxt: Our Heritage, Our Future” collaborative is dedicated to listening to the voice of the community.   This will be the foundation of the community effort to reduce infant mortality and promote healthy young families within our tribal communities.  We are grateful to the March of Dimes for supporting this project.”

Memorial Hospital will serve as the fiscal sponsor for this grant.



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