MDHHS partners with U-M Youth Policy Lab to evaluate Michigan's Maternal Infant Health Program

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the University of Michigan Youth Policy Lab have been awarded a grant by Arnold Ventures to conduct an impact evaluation of Michigan’s Maternal Infant Health Program, the state’s largest evidence-based home visiting program.

The study will support Michigan’s efforts to improve maternal and infant health, and help reduce disparities in health outcomes, officials said.

“Effective home visiting programs help kids grow up healthier,” said Robert Gordon, MDHHS director. “Careful program evaluation can help us to make our home visiting programs more effective.”

Michigan’s infant and maternal mortality rates are higher than the national average, with significant racial disparities in key maternal and infant health indicators, according to the MDHHS.

“The health and well-being of Michigan mothers, infants and families is of utmost importance to MDHHS,” said Robert Gordon, MDHHS director.

MDHHS and the Youth Policy Lab aim to understand the program’s impact on maternal health, birth outcomes and health care use to identify effective strategies to increase participation, and to advance effective practices to improve maternal and infant health.

Additionally, nearly $350,000 will go directly to local Maternal Infant Health Program agencies to hire community health workers conduct intensive outreach to pregnant and/or parenting families of newborns.

The project begins this month and continues through 2025.

The University of Michigan Youth Policy Lab helps community and government agencies make better decisions by measuring what really works.

Arnold Ventures is a Houston-based philanthropy with a core mission of investing in evidence-based solutions that maximize opportunity and minimize injustice.


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