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The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh Supports AHN Women's Behavioral Health Childcare

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Pittsburgh, PA - The Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Women’s Behavioral Health Childcare Program has received a $5,400 grant from the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh to provide on-site childcare at no cost. With these funds, the Program will remove a significant barrier for mothers seeking crucial treatment for mental health services throughout pregnancy and following delivery, supporting access and quality of care.

A 2012 RAND study on perinatal depression screening found the lack of an established process to refer and treat individuals screening at risk for depression is a significant barrier to connecting mothers to mental health treatment. Regionally, a Highmark study found that 21% of women who delivered between January 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014 were diagnosed with postpartum depression. Still, less than half (43%) received any therapy, and 3% were hospitalized.

Perinatal depression can significantly interfere with infant attachment, maternal health, ability to function, family dynamics, and, in rare cases, results in suicide. Swift action is vital for a healthy mother and child. Of all mothers with older children enrolled in the Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Women’s Behavioral Health at AHN West Penn Hospital, approximately 40% cited a lack of childcare as a barrier to ongoing and consistent mental health treatment. 

Through a strategic partnership between Women’s Behavioral Health and Flexable, which provides on-demand, on-site childcare, and generous funds from the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh, childcare at the Center will be offered continuously, 3 days a week, 3.5 hours per day with varying needs for 1-2 childcare staff. Funds will support this short-term solution to mental health treatment access, plus the time needed to develop a long-term, sustainable plan while addressing the needs of mothers requiring access to childcare immediately.

The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh’s donation will provide childcare at no cost for any mother who might otherwise lack access to treatment due to this barrier. Approximately 15 families and 35 children will be served per month for a year, with hopes of increasing patient volume by 30% and reducing missed or cancelled appointments by 10%. Additionally, the initiative will create a sustainable childcare program to support ongoing access for mothers to mental health treatment.

“We are so grateful for the continued partnership with The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh and the funds donated to support ongoing access to care for mothers seeking mental health services,” says Allie Quick, AHN Chief Philanthropy Officer.

The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh creates lasting social change in the lives of women and girls in the Jewish and general communities. To achieve this mission, the organization funds innovative programs that address the unmet needs of women and girls in Allegheny County and makes strategic grants like the one to AHN yearly.