HMHBGA

Press Advisory: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia Honors State Legislators

ATLANTA, Georgia, U.S. — February 11, 2021 — Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia is excited to announce our 2021 Legislative Event: Advocacy in a Virtual World and Beyond will be held in collaboration with March of Dimes Georgia online on February 18, 2021 from 11:00AM – 12:30PM. 

Four legislators have been honored with HMHBGA’s Charlotte Wilen Advocate of the Year Award. The Wilen Award acknowledges the hard work and efforts of our State’s lawmakers to improve maternal and child health through policy change. Charlotte Wilen was an avid advocate for Georgia’s families during her life and was the founder of HMHBGA in 1974. HMHBGA is pleased to congratulate the following policy makers whose contributions in the 2020 Legislative Session made a lasting impact for Georgia families: 

  • Chairman Bran Strickland (R – McDonough) for the passage of SB 408, which will extend the Family Care Act, allowing employees to use sick time to care for immediate family members.
  • Chairman Butch Parrish (R – Swainsboro)for prioritizing maternal mortality in the state budget.
  • Chairwoman Sharon Cooper (R – Marietta) for the passage of HB 1114, which will extend Pregnancy Medicaid to six months postpartum.
  • Representative Park Cannon (D – Atlanta) for prioritizing the Working for Two Act, which would provide accommodations for pregnant and postpartum employees. 

“I think most of us have come to realize that we can spend a little money up front and make sure we try to get that prenatal care for that mom and take care of that new baby. It saves a lot of money in the long run and a lot of heartache and pain and suffering along the way. It helps us produce healthier mothers and healthier babies and we’re just proud to be a part of that.” -Chairman Butch Parrish

“Mothers are extremely important and so are their babies and children. I lost my mother when I was 12. I know what that did for my life and what a difference it made and I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose my mother at a young age. That is one of the things that motivated me to work so hard on our maternal mortality issue and to actually get $20 million in funds to support a six month expansion.” -Chairwoman Sharon Cooper

“As a labor doula and a childbirth educator here in the state of Georgia, I would like to thank all of the Charlottes, especially the one who this award is named after, for making sure that lawmakers are paying attention and are being understanding of how difficult these times really are. We certainly do not want any person of childbirth experience to have to choose between a paycheck and a healthy pregnancy, so I look forward to continuing to learn about these issues and to hear from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies.” -Representative Park Cannon

“I think what we’re doing is stating the policy of the state is to welcome companies that will give flexibility to their workers.” -Representative Strickland (Bandlamudi, Georgia Senate Passes Family Sick Leave Legislation 2017)

Press Advisory: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Welcomes New Executive Director

ATLANTA, Georgia, U.S. — February 8, 2021 — Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA) announced the appointment of Kyesha (Ky) Lindberg as the organization’s new Executive Director. Lindberg succeeds Elise Blasingame, who served as Executive Director from 2016 to 2020, and Interim Executive Director Colleen Bozard. 

Lindberg brings more than 15 years of leading transformational community programs as well as strong advocacy experience on behalf of young children and families. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Wayne State University, Lindberg served as the Senior Community Liaison for the office of Congressman Sander Levin, where she concentrated on reducing systematic barriers in education and healthcare. Her passion for service drove her to hold senior leadership roles in public education as well as in nonprofit organizations.  

“HMHBGA is very excited to welcome Mrs. Lindberg to the team.” reported Board of Directors President Johnecia Mason.  “She will be a valuable asset to us and we know that we made the right choice by selecting her to serve as our next Executive Director!   We look forward to her continuing the long standing mission of the organization, as well as a fresh new approach to maternal and infant health during these very different times.”

Prior to joining the HMHBGA team, Lindberg served as the Regional Lead of Early Childhood Partnerships for LENA, where she managed systems and state level partnerships in 13 states across the Midwest and Southeast. Lindberg has also been recognized for her unique, collaborative and innovative approaches to supporting early language and literacy acquisition for underserved communities when she was named in The Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 program.  

In addition to her new role at HMHBGA, Lindberg serves on the boards of Dekalb Brilliance Academy, the Hand Heart and Soul Project, and Rosebud Ballet; she is also a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority and is a weekly reading mentor for Everybody Wins-Atlanta.

“As I have worked to bolster the education, health and wellbeing of families throughout the southeast, I have learned just how critical supporting mothers and children are not only to families but to the economy and community as a whole” says Lindberg. “As Executive Director of HMHBGA, I have an opportunity to build on the organization’s legacy to increase health outcomes,  expand support services and reduce systemic barriers  for mothers and their little ones in communities across Georgia.”

As Executive Director, Lindberg will work closely with the staff, board and partnering organizations to drive HMHBGA’s vision to create a Georgia where every mother and baby has the resources and support to be healthy and thrive throughout the perinatal period. 

To learn more about HMHBGA’s mission and positive impact on the health of Georgia’s families, visit hmhbga.org. 

Press Advisory: Healthy Mother, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia Welcomes New Executive Director

ATLANTA, Georgia, U.S. — February 8, 2021 — Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA) announced the appointment of Kyesha (Ky) Lindberg as the organization’s new Executive Director. Lindberg succeeds Elise Blasingame, who served as Executive Director from 2016 to 2020, and Interim Executive Director Colleen Bozard. 

Lindberg brings more than 15 years of leading transformational community programs as well as strong advocacy experience on behalf of young children and families. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Wayne State University, Lindberg served as the Senior Community Liaison for the office of Congressman Sander Levin, where she concentrated on reducing systematic barriers in education and healthcare. Her passion for service drove her to hold senior leadership roles in public education as well as in nonprofit organizations.  

“HMHBGA is very excited to welcome Mrs. Lindberg to the team.” reported Board of Directors President Johnecia Mason.  “She will be a valuable asset to us and we know that we made the right choice by selecting her to serve as our next Executive Director!   We look forward to her continuing the long standing mission of the organization, as well as a fresh new approach to maternal and infant health during these very different times.”

Prior to joining the HMHBGA team, Lindberg served as the Regional Lead of Early Childhood Partnerships for LENA, where she managed systems and state level partnerships in 13 states across the Midwest and Southeast. Lindberg has also been recognized for her unique, collaborative and innovative approaches to supporting early language and literacy acquisition for underserved communities when she was named in The Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 program.  

In addition to her new role at HMHBGA, Lindberg serves on the boards of Dekalb Brilliance Academy, the Hand Heart and Soul Project, and Rosebud Ballet; she is also a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority and is a weekly reading mentor for Everybody Wins-Atlanta.

“As I have worked to bolster the education, health and wellbeing of families throughout the southeast, I have learned just how critical supporting mothers and children are not only to families but to the economy and community as a whole” says Lindberg. “As Executive Director of HMHBGA, I have an opportunity to build on the organization’s legacy to increase health outcomes,  expand support services and reduce systemic barriers  for mothers and their little ones in communities across Georgia.”

As Executive Director, Lindberg will work closely with the staff, board and partnering organizations to drive HMHBGA’s vision to create a Georgia where every mother and baby has the resources and support to be healthy and thrive throughout the perinatal period. 

To learn more about HMHBGA’s mission and positive impact on the health of Georgia’s families, visit hmhbga.org. 

Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award

Rose L. Horton, MSM, RN, NEA-BC will be honored with the Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award at the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA) virtual Annual Meeting and Conference. 

The Wetzel Continuum Award recognizes a volunteer or health professional who contributes to the health and well being of Georgia’s families by being a positive change agent in the public arena of advocacy and policy. This award is in memory of Carolyn Wetzel, a long-time HMHBGA member, friend, and dedicated public health advocate for mothers and babies. 

Horton has cared and advocated for birthing people and their families for over 25 years as a women’s health nurse. Prior to taking on her current position, Horton coordinated the opening of two freestanding birth centers in Tennessee and Colorado. Horton now serves as the Specialty Director for Women and Infant Services at Emory Decatur Hospital (EDH) where she oversees nurses, patient experience, quality initiatives, and development opportunities. 

As a Past President of the Association of Women’s Health and Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, Horton routinely speaks on the national level on topics such as joy at work and nurses’ role in improving maternal mortality and morbidity. Horton leads nurses in making lasting change by pursuing partnerships between hospitals and community organizations such as WIC, Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA), Center for Black Women’s Wellness (CBWW), and HMHBGA. 

“Rose is the type of leader that other nurses want to follow. Rose encourages those she works with to practice gratitude, build resilience and find joy at work. Her ability to see patients as individuals, and to put what is best for that individual at the center of decision making is unparalleled. By modeling compassion, empathy, and understanding for each person’s unique situation, Rose challenges her peers to meet patients where they are.” 

Postpartum Medicaid Action Alert

Contact members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and ask them to vote YES on HB 1114 which extends Pregnancy Medicaid coverage from 2 months to 6 months following birth of a child for mothers to access critical postpartum care. They meet at 3:30PM today so please email them prior to 3:00PM!

Contact These Legislators

Please contact the members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee which is voting on the bill today at 3:30PM.

Dear Senator ______,

Please vote YES on HB 1114 when it comes before you in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee today. This bill extends Medicaid coverage from 2 months to 6 months following birth of a child for mothers for critical postpartum care. As you are aware, this is a primary recommendation of Georgia’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee to address Georgia’s maternal health crisis.

 Providing access to healthcare for new mothers can reduce Georgia’s maternal mortality rate and ensure better health outcomes for the babies, saving costs and lives in years to come. Additionally, adopting postpartum Medicaid for at least six months following delivery is especially important now, to support the physical and mental health of mothers and their newborns, who are dealing with additional stresses such as ill family members, job losses, and uncertainty about the effects of COVID-19 on maternal and infant health.

Thank you for your service and for all you do for Georgia’s mothers and families.

Download our One-Pager

More than half of all births in Georgia are covered by Medicaid and by extending the period for postpartum coverage, the State has an opportunity to improve women’s health and birth outcomes. Specifically, we believe extending postpartum coverage would:

  • Reduce maternal mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Promote early detection and treatment of postpartum depression and related mental health conditions
  • Reduce the rate of low birthweight and preterm births (wrap-around services to prevent poor birth
  • outcomes in future pregnancies)
  • Reduce healthcare costs to the State
  • Support reimbursements for care given in rural Georgia

Happy to Help.

Email us with any questions at thecoalition@hmhbga.org. We will be down at the Capitol today advocating for this important measure!