The Illinois Maternal Health Strategic Plan identifies priorities, strategies, and action steps which are addressed through the volunteer effort of Illinois Maternal Health Task Force members organized into four committees:
- Care Coordination and Case Management
- Community Access, Systems Equity, and Education
- Root and Structural Causes of Health Inequity
- Maternal Health Data for Action
Each committee meets on its own schedule to accomplish the identified activities. Committee co-chairs offer direction and I PROMOTE-IL staff monitors progress and provides support/resources. Committee updates are provided to the larger Task Force during quarterly Task Force meetings. The actual implementation of the Strategic Plan is iterative and dependent on committee membership, resources, and the development and implementation of legislation/policy.
Objective: Expand coordination of services prior to, during, and after pregnancy.
- Strategy #1: Expand the number of communities who offer a system of universal supports across the continuum from early prenatal care to one year postpartum.
- Strategy #2: Increase funding for community-based perinatal support, home visitors, and doulas as well as perinatal health workers, educators (e.g., peer breastfeeding counselors), and advocates.
Note: The Care Coordination and Case Management Committee of the Illinois Maternal Health Task Force is partnering with the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Health Integration Prenatal-to-Three Program (ECCS). The purpose of the ECCS is to build integrated maternal and early childhood systems of care that are equitable, sustainable, comprehensive, and inclusive of the health system. The vision of ECCS is that these integrated systems will promote early developmental health and family well-being, and increase family-centered access to care and engagement of the prenatal-to-three population. The Care Coordination and Case Management Committee will serve as the Advisory Committee for the implementation of the ECCS Project.
Objective: Ensure all pregnant and postpartum persons have equitable access to quality care and disseminate information on resources, healthcare services, and patient’s rights to pregnant persons, families, and communities.
- Strategy #1: In collaboration with community partners, leverage the implementation of the IL Title V Program-supported women’s reproductive/perinatal health toolkit, Healthy Choices, Healthy Futures, to ensure that it is widely disseminated through appropriate consumer and professional networks and media platforms.
- Strategy #2: Increase awareness of changes in postpartum care available to women on Medicaid in Illinois, including the 12-month postpartum Medicaid expansion and receipt of two preventative visits in the early postpartum period.
- Strategy #3: Maintain and expand telehealth utilization for prenatal and postpartum care in Illinois.
- Strategy #4: Require reimbursement for Substance Use Disorder and Intimate Partner Violence screening using a validated tool during routine prenatal care.
- Strategy #5: Explore strategies to address obstetric care deserts in Illinois.
Note: During 2021, the Public Education and Community Empowerment and Engagement and the Equal Access to High Quality Care committees merged to form the Community Access, System Equity and Education Committee.
Objective: Address social and systemic issues that alter pregnant and postpartum persons’ ability to be healthy across the reproductive continuum.
- Strategy #1: Standardize training on implicit bias and related topics (e.g., racism) for healthcare providers and raise awareness on the need for a more diverse provider workforce.
- Strategy #2: Address the social determinants of health by expanding and strengthening existing programs to provide more options for pregnant and postpartum persons and young families.
- Strategy #3: Expand and establish economic support and security for Illinois families.
Objective: Increase awareness, access, and use of maternal health data systems and resources to inform efforts to reduce severe maternal morbidity and maternal mortality.
- Strategy #1: Increase the number of MCH stakeholders and partners using data for action by leveraging existing state-level data resources (e.g., query tools and reports).
- Strategy #2: Adapt or create tools and resources to support MCH stakeholders and partners in using data to address inequities in maternal mortality (MM) and severe maternal morbidity (SMM).