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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Allegheny Health Network Receives Grant from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation to Reinvest in Quality Care Model for Prenatal, Perinatal and Postpartum Patients

Pittsburgh, PA -- With funding provided by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), Allegheny Health Network (AHN) launches a plan to re-design a value-based care model for women and infants that includes incorporating the role of social worker into the AHN obstetrics care workflow to improve patient outcomes and reduce high-risk complications during pregnancy.

While early and regular prenatal care helps many women have healthy pregnancies and deliveries, approximately 8 percent of all pregnancies involve complications, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, that can include gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), placental complications, pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure, depression, opioid use disorder (OUD) and more.

According to the World Health Organization, worldwide about 10 percent of pregnant women and 13 percent of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. As a result, the affected mothers often cannot function properly, thus impacting the growth and development of the newborn.

AHN recognizes the need to integrate a comprehensive maternal health treatment plan that includes not only improved screening processes to identify complications at the onset, but also a comprehensive care team that will now incorporate mental health into overall general health care by improving the identification of and management of those patients also at high risk for mental disorder resulting from pregnancy and childbirth.

“This initiative aims to remove redundant services and reinvest in services critical to pregnant and postpartum women and newborns,” says Marcia Klein-Patel, MD, PhD, Chair, AHN Women’s Institute. “The generous funding from the JHF will allow us to recreate a strategy that includes improved screenings, better identification of high-risk patients and incorporating a focus on mental health to provide total quality care from the bottom up for new mothers and newborns.”

“We are excited to be partnering with AHN to advance maternal outcomes in western Pennsylvania”, says Karen Wolk Feinstein, President and CEO of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. “The Jewish Healthcare Foundation has appreciated the opportunity to work with AHN, Highmark Inc., and Highmark Health to design a new model of care that includes adding a social worker to the maternity care team to improve outcomes.”

“We are very grateful for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s support of this reinvestment opportunity,” says Allison P. Quick, Chief Philanthropy Officer, AHN Office of Development. “This generous gift allows us to continue our commitment to provide top quality care and improve outcomes for women and newborns.”

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