HMHBGA is working with key stakeholders across Georgia to promote sound policy that will address the following:
- Extending pregnancy Medicaid coverage from 60 days to one year from the date of delivery.
- Legislation that protects pregnant women and new mothers from discrimination in the workplace.
- Increased enrollment and utilization of the Planning for Healthy Babies Medicaid Waiver Program.
- Increased access to prenatal care and support in rural and underserved areas of the State.
- Reducing Georgia’s abysmal infant and maternal mortality rates.
HMHBGA is a dedicated non-partisan network of grassroots advocates, healthcare professionals and concerned citizens. We would love to add your voice to our chorus for Georgia’s healthcare needs.
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During the legislative session, we’ll send you an e-newsletter, Keeping Current @ the Capitol. This legislative update advises you of critical health legislation or departmental policy changes that are under consideration. We continue to make a difference in Georgia’s General Assembly.
- Summary of Legislative Session (2019)
- Summary of Legislative Session (2018)
- Summary of Legislative Session (2017)
- Summary of Legislative Session (2016)
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia does not support or oppose any candidate for federal, state or local elected office.
Major Wins in 2019
In 2019, we worked with key Coalition partners to successfully advocate for the following legislative changes and appropriations:
- HR 589:creates the House Study Committee on Maternal Mortality. The Study Committee will develop strategies and institute systemic changes to decrease and prevent maternal deaths in Georgia.
- HB 345: ensures that no restraints of any kind are used on a woman who is in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, in labor, in delivery, or in the immediate postpartum period while incarcerated. Also ensures that no pregnant women would be subject to a squat and cough search or vaginal exam unless prescribed and performed by a licensed healthcare professional.
- HR 707: recognizes May 1, 2019 as Maternal Mental Health Day at the state capitol.
- $200,000 for additional nurse abstractors for the Maternal Mortality Review Committee
- $600,000 for HMHBGA to establish three perinatal support satellites in Wilcox, Randolph, and Meriwether Counties
- $1.05 million to screen, refer, and treat maternal depression and related behavioral disorders in rural and underserved areas
- $13,000 to convert space in either the Capitol Building or Coverdell Legislative Building to a lactation room
Special thank you to March of Dimes Georgia and the Georgia OB/Gyn Society for their leadership on many of these requests.
How We Serve as a Resource Partner
For more than four decades, HMHBGA has provided a weekly update during the legislative session related to proposed policies and appropriations that may impact maternal and infant health outcomes in Georgia. We provide research to policymakers and legislators to inform their decisions. We also provide in-person advocacy training for health professionals, webinars on maternal and infant health policy topics and updates on how federal policy changes are expected to impact Georgia’s programming and outcomes. For example, we trained PSI-GA’s advocates to successfully request funds for Georgia’s first ever Maternal Mental Health Program.
HMHBGA is working with partner organizations on a Maternal Mortality Awareness Day at the Capitol for 2020. In addition, we serve as a convening partner alongside our Maternal Mortality Stakeholders Group to help reduce Georgia’s poor maternal mortality rate. During 2018, we partnered with eight organizations statewide to bring more than 40 stakeholders to the Georgia State Capitol for the first-ever, Infant Mortality Awareness Day at the Capitol. We displayed over 900 onesies representing each infant death from the last year. Georgia continues to be ranked in the bottom five states for infant mortality with little change over the past decade. During these activities, we trained more than 20 individuals on how to meet with their legislators, most of whom did so for the very first time.
Prioritizing Maternal and Infant Health in Hospital Community Health Needs Assessments
Not all of our policy work takes place at the Capitol. In fact, much of this important work takes place at the local level, too. In 2018, we piloted a technical assistance project to encourage maternal and child health professionals and advocates to engage in their local health system’s Community Health Needs Assessment process. Of 108 hospitals that are required to conduct a CHNA in Georgia, only 21 (19%) prioritized maternal and infant health during their last assessment (2016). It is important for community-based organizations and front-line providers to encourage their local hospital system to include maternal and infant health priorities in the next round of CHNAs in 2019 to ensure that community benefits will also address Georgia’s poor perinatal outcomes. Learn more here.
Please join us as we work to address the following by convening key experts, stakeholders and decision makers to advance maternal and infant health in Georgia:
- P4HB Waiver Enrollment and Utilization
- Oral Healthcare During Pregnancy
- Infant Mortality Prevention
- Advancing Doula Access
- Access to Quality Prenatal Education
- Engaging Business Partners
Please email Amber Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about joining a working group. We convene bi-monthly or quarterly depending on the working group.