Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Secures More Than $1.4 Million in Federal Funding for Harris County Black Maternal & Child Health Program
Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) held a press conference to highlight $1,431,174 in federal funding she secured for Harris County Public Health’s (HCPH) Maternal & Child Health Program. The funding will be used to support the program, which focuses on Black mothers and helps eligible families navigate their parenting journey through an evidence-based home visitation model that provides education tools, resources, and access to health care opportunities.
“The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of all developed countries, and Harris County has the highest maternal morbidity rates among metropolitan areas in the United States,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. “I am proud to announce that HCPH will receive $1.4 million in federal funding that I requested, advocated for, and obtained through congressional appropriations to address the maternal mortality crisis and significant health inequities among mothers and children in our community. I was glad to partner with HCPH and Harris County officials, especially Commissioner Rodney Ellis, to support this important work, and I look forward to continuing to work together for our district, our city, and our region.”
The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of all developed countries. Studies have consistently found higher pregnancy-related mortality risks among Black women. Black mothers in Harris County are 1.4 times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth as compared to the U.S. rate. Some of the largest contributing factors include inadequate and inaccessible care before, during, and after pregnancy. The Black Maternal & Child Health Program directly addresses these alarming findings by matching Community Health Coordinators with mothers to help them navigate every step of the prenatal and post-partum process.
HCPH expects to assist 300-400 families over a five-year period through the program. The program is currently recruiting individuals and families to enroll.
In March 2021, Congresswoman Fletcher voted for the American Rescue Plan Act, to help state and local governments provide support for their communities. In July 2022, the Harris County Commissioners Court voted to dedicate $7.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to establish the Black Maternal & Child Health Program.
Last year, Congresswoman Fletcher requested additional funding specifically for the Black Maternal & Child Health Program through the community project funding process in Congress. The process allows members of Congress to request funding for specific projects in their districts. She secured the funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, the bipartisan government funding bill that funds essential programs—including the Black Maternal & Child Health Program—for Fiscal Year 2023.
For more information on the Maternal & Child Health Program, click here.
Source: Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher