The Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) – in partnership with Billings Clinic and the University of Montana – received a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) state maternal health innovations grant totaling $9.6 million in Fall 2019. This five year award is designed to elevate maternal health care access and quality in Montana through innovations in data, collaboration, and care delivery.

At the time of  award in 2019, Montana had the 6th highest maternal mortality ratio in the nation according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Racial and rural health disparities plague Montana’s health system with 52 of Montana’s 56 counties having at least one Medically-Underserved Area (MEA) designation.

The Montana Obstetrics & Maternal Support (MOMS) program was created to connect rural providers to obstetrical/gynecological, perinatal, mental health and substance abuse specialists to build competency and consistency across perinatal providers.

The MOMS program guides the multidisciplinary collaboration of maternal and perinatal health providers, programs, resources and initiatives to deliver training, resources and support to rural healthcare providers in Montana as they care for their perinatal patients.

“This is an excellent opportunity to elevate healthcare services for pregnant and postpartum women who have little or no access to high levels of obstetrics care … The launch of this program gets us one step closer to ensuring that every woman in Montana has equal opportunity to access affordable and quality care.” –Former Montana Governor Steve Bullock

The MOMS grant provided integral resources and infrastructure needed to launch the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health’s (AIM) patient safety program via the Montana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MPQC) as well as revived the Montana Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) and led to receipt of additional funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Eliminate Maternal Mortality Initiative (ERASE MM).