Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches Grant Program to Increase Access to Maternal and Reproductive Health Services in Massachusetts

Grants aim to reduce health inequities by prioritizing investments in communities with most extreme disparities.
For immediate release:
  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches Grant Program to Increase Access to Maternal and Reproductive Health Services in Massachusetts

Karissa Hand, Press Secretary

Boston — This Women’s History Month, the Healey-Driscoll Administration is announcing plans to award $10 million in grant funding over three years to strengthen maternal health and family planning services in Massachusetts. The grant program, administered by the Department of Public Health (DPH), builds on the administration’s health equity initiative. The program will invest in access, workforce and infrastructure for organizations that provide a variety of women’s health services, including prenatal care, Post-Partum Depression (PPD) care, post-miscarriage mental health care, midwifery services, and reproductive health care. To reduce maternal health disparities, DPH will prioritize applicants based in communities with the most extreme inequities.  

“Our administration is committed to ensuring that residents in every community have access to high-quality, comprehensive health care – that includes reproductive health and family planning services,” said Governor Maura Healey. “With this grant program, we’re ensuring that’s a reality in every part of the state and investing funds in the communities that need it most. In Massachusetts, we don’t just protect access to reproductive and maternal health care – we expand it.” 

“We’re strengthening our network of reproductive and maternal health care, because we know that equitable access to these family planning services can save lives,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “This Women’s History Month, and every month, our administration will do everything in our power to ensure regional, racial, and gender equity in health care delivery, particularly when it comes to reproductive health.” 

This initiative seeks to support the recommendations included in the Review of Maternal Health Services that Governor Healey ordered, as well as the Racial Inequities in Maternal Health report developed by the Special Commission on Racial Inequities on Maternal Health. In addition, this grant opportunity is informed by listening sessions with pregnant and postpartum families that DPH conducted across the state. DPH will award funds to projects that help meet the specific needs of relevant communities while also advancing maternal and reproductive health equity. 

“Massachusetts leads the nation in access to reproductive and maternal health services, but it’s on us to ensure these services reach every community in our state,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh. “Many of our most vulnerable communities experience higher levels of maternal health complications – that’s unacceptable. By prioritizing investments in communities with the most extreme inequities, we are tackling these disparities head-on. Our administration has made health equity a priority, and we will continue to work to increase access to care in every region of the state.” 

“We hear countless stories from our most marginalized communities about the challenges they experience in accessing quality maternal health care,” said Robbie Goldstein, MD, PhD, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health. “This grant represents our commitment to reducing, and ultimately closing, the gap in maternal health disparities we see in the Commonwealth, and it will help us provide every birthing person in the state the care and support essential for a healthy pregnancy. By enhancing our maternal health system through increasing access, supporting workforce capacity, and strengthening infrastructure in communities most in need, we are taking active steps toward achieving equitable outcomes for all families.”  

Grant applications are due May 1, 2024. DPH strongly encourages applicants to propose projects that effectively meet the specific needs of their communities and advance maternal health equity. Potential projects might include: 

  • Enhancing access to prenatal and postpartum services  

    • Establishing and expanding access to hospital-based remote blood pressure monitoring programs  

    • Developing, evaluating, and disseminating a framework on integrating doulas into hospital-based birth teams  

  • Building system capacity and infrastructure  

    • Developing outpatient or inpatient behavioral health treatment programs for birthing parents and their infants  

    • Strengthening infrastructure to improve access to birth center services  

    • Increasing provision of on-site prenatal care offered by community health centers  

  • Expanding perinatal workforce development  

    • Providing free or low-cost antiracism and cultural competency trainings to hospital and clinic-based health care providers  

    • Supporting funding for scholarships for doula training programs  

    • Supporting access to postpartum provider training with CEUs on patient-centered contraceptive counseling  

    • Expanding access to perinatal mental health screening, diagnosis, treatment, and referrals  

DPH will prioritize projects based in one or more of the 10 priority areas identified in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ Advancing Health Equity in Massachusetts initiative, as well those that promote racial equity and reproductive justice. Organizations can apply on COMMBUYS before May 1, 2024. 

The Healey-Driscoll Administration is committed to protecting and expanding access to reproductive and maternal health care. Yesterday, Governor Healey pledged to protect access to medication abortion following Supreme Court oral arguments on access to mifepristone. Last year, Governor Healey took immediate action to protect access to mifepristone in Massachusetts, directing the University of Massachusetts to stockpile doses and issuing an Executive Order confirming protections for medication abortion. Also last year, DPH launched a toolkit to help public colleges and universities develop abortion readiness plans. To improve maternal health outcomes statewide, MassHealth recently began covering doula services and, in January, Governor Healey filed a budget including $1 million to build a new doula certification pipeline. 


Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches Grant Program to Increase Access to Maternal and Reproductive Health Services in Massachusetts

  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll 

    Since taking office, Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll’s top priority has been building a Massachusetts that’s competitive, equitable, and affordable for every family, worker, and business.
  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services 

    The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is comprised of 11 agencies and the MassHealth program. EOHHS seeks to promote the health, resilience, and independence of the nearly one in every three residents of the Commonwealth we serve. Our public health programs touch every community in the Commonwealth.
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