Health and Human Services dedicates $3.6 million to improve maternal health in northwest Minnesota

  • Date: 12/07/2021

BEMIDJI, MN -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has provided $3.6 million to local care providers to improve rural maternal services.

Regional healthcare providers including Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota, Cass Lake Indian Health Service, Red Lake Indian Health Service and Beltrami County Health and Human Services received the grant funding. The grants are part of the HHS department's Families First: Rural Maternity Health Collaborative, a release said.

The grant funding will be used over a four-year period starting in 2021 between existing health programs in Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Hubbard and Itasca Counties. The goal is to enhance the services each partner provides.

The grant is intended to help issues facing the area, the release said. The cited challenges affecting access to obstetric care for Native American women include geographic isolation, inadequate transportation, chronic illness, poverty, substance use, challenges with health literacy and a history of systemic racism.

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