March 13, 2020

Duckworth, Durbin Announce $3.5 Million For Maternal And Child Health Services In Illinois


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth today announced $3,531,780 in federal funding awarded to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to support health care for low-income mothers, children, and families. This funding is provided through the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant program within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

“With this grant, the Illinois Department of Public Health will have the support they need to continue working to address health disparities and improve the well-being of mothers, children, and families in our state,” Durbin said. “Senator Duckworth and I will continue working to provide federal funding and support legislation that increases investments in maternal and postpartum health care, such as the MOMMA Act.”

“If a woman can’t access or afford the pre- or post-natal health care she needs, it doesn’t just impact her—it impacts her entire family” said Duckworth. “Every American – no matter where they are from – should have access to high-quality health services, and this federal funding for the Illinois Department of Public Health will go a long way in helping ensure families across our state can get the care they need and deserve.”

The MCH Services Block Grant program creates partnerships between the federal government and states focused on the health care needs of the maternal and child health. Grants are used to help states ensure that quality health care is provided to mothers and children, particularly to those with low-incomes.

Last year, Durbin and Duckworth, along with U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02), introduced comprehensive legislation to reduce America’s rising maternal and infant mortality rate, especially for moms and babies of color who are significantly more likely to die during or shortly after pregnancy. The Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness (MOMMA) Act aims to improve care women receive before, during, and after pregnancy. Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Expand Medicaid coverage for mothers up to one year postpartum (versus 60 days in current law) with full federal funding for this expansion population;
  • Improve coverage and access to doulas;
  • Improve hospital coordination and reporting on maternal outcomes;
  • Ensure adoption and implementation of best practices for improving maternity care; and
  • Create regional centers of excellence to improve implicit bias and cultural competency training among health care providers.