HMHBGA Receives $30,000 Investment from Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation


Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA) is proud to announce that in July of 2020, the organization received an investment from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in support of our evidence-based perinatal education program, Pickles & Ice Cream Georgia®.

In 2019, HMHBGA released a report on the evaluation of current prenatal education and availability in the State of Georgia. HMHBGA found that barriers like cost, transportation, health literacy, and scheduling made it difficult for all women to receive prenatal education. In fact,  only 10 – 18% of Georgia women receive in-person prenatal education outside of their prenatal appointments. For moms who do make it to a prenatal education class, there are still major gaps. Topics like health insurance, and STI prevention often fall through the cracks. And even though around half of all of births in Georgia are Medicaid births, fewer than 12% of classes covered Medicaid-related topics.

Georgia has a dire need for accessible, mom-friendly, evidence-based maternal and infant health information and resources.  The P&I team talked to moms, childbirth educators, and providers across the state to figure out how we could help fill that need. On this platform, families can find the information they need through mom-friendly videos, articles and quizzes and sign-up for virtual courses on a number of perinatal topics. The platform will also provide toolkits and referral guides available for providers and educators who need Georgia-specific maternal health resources.

Pickles & Ice Cream Georgia® launched on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2020 and is still in its infancy.

“With partners like the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, we aim to make this program an inclusive and accessible space for pregnant and postpartum women to access the critical information, support and supplies they need,” shared HMHBGA Executive Director, Elise Blasingame.

The funds provided by the Foundation will expand HMHBGA’s existing virtual perinatal education courses to include increased enrollment of expectant moms on the Westside and metro-Atlanta. Expansion will include targeted outreach on the Westside and throughout metro-Atlanta to offer prenatal and postpartum sessions in English and Spanish. The funds will also support the development of additional course content to offer more virtual sessions to families in need.

“We are too often reminded that in Georgia, Black, Brown and Indigenous mothers are dying at a rate much higher than that of white women within the first year of giving birth,” said Suganthi Simon, Sr. Program Officer, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “By supporting the Pickles and Ice Cream program, we have the opportunity to help Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia meet mothers where they are to positively change the health and development outcomes for Georgia’s moms, babies and families.”

Families throughout Georgia are encouraged to sign up for these free online courses which take place virtually each week at Georgia residents can earn up to $20 in or Walmart gift cards!
Complete our pre- and post-tests: $5
Complete our 3-month follow up survey: $5
Complete our 6-month follow up survey: $10

Participants in HMHBGA prenatal education workshops consistently demonstrate knowledge gains in key areas for addressing the current disparities in maternal and infant health in Georgia, including:

  • Post-birth Warning Signs to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity
  • Oral Health & Pregnancy
  • HIV/STI Transmission
  • Safe Sleep to prevent infant mortality
  • Birth Spacing
  • When to begin family planning

Importantly, HMHBGA conducts surveys with program participants at the 2-week, 3-month and 6-month marks from the date of their class. This allows us to evaluate proximal and distal outcomes regarding the impact of our work. Key outcomes for our 2019 participants included:

  • 100% strongly agreed or agreed that they learned something new from the workshop
  • 83% had a flu shot during pregnancy
  • 75% initiated breastfeeding
  • 100% of participants’ infants attended newborn appointments
  • 100% of participants’ infants slept in their own crib

What HMHBGA Prenatal Education Clients Say:

“It was an awesome workshop. The class reassured me!”
“Awesome class, learned something new and this is 3rd child”
“Shared the information with cousins and brother’s girlfriend – especially about Medicaid what you can get.”
“It helped a lot because I’m a first-time mom.”
“Liked everything – got a friend to sign up for the next workshop.”
“I felt very supported. I learned about baby blues and I learned that it wasn’t just me feeling this way. I told my doctor about it.”

About the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to transform the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today.

The Foundation invests in education, parks and greenspace, youth development, community redevelopment, and the arts, and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, PGA TOUR Superstore, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, West Creek Ranch and Paradise Valley Ranch.

Mr. Blank, chairman of the foundation, co-founded The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in 2001. Through the foundation and his family’s personal giving, Mr. Blank has granted more than $560 million to various charitable organizations.