The Bloom Network

Reimagining equitable investments with families and communities to FLOURISH

The Bloom Network is deconstructing, redesigning, and redistributing resources to forge equitable infant and maternal health outcomes. Bloom re-imagines investments with comprehensive, community-based support to our region’s Black moms, babies, and families.

We have heard time and again that there is a significant need for better coordination for maternal and infant health services. Enter the Bloom Network – a collaborative effort to provide quality care through home visitation, perinatal behavioral health, and safe sleep. We are closing the gaps between these services so that no families slip through the cracks.

Generate Perinatal Behavioral Health Initiative

Improving Behavioral Health Screening and Access to Treatment for Pregnant and New Moms

Maternal behavioral health issues, such as depression, anxiety and addiction, directly contribute to poor outcomes in infants. Pregnant women with behavioral health issues face an increased risk of obstetric complications and preterm labor that can threaten their lives and the lives of their babies. Maternal depression in mothers with low access to resources and treatment is also linked directly to lower infant birth weight, higher rates of malnutrition and stunting, infectious illness, and hospital admission.

In St. Louis in particular, we face high levels of depression and stress in women, a lack of appropriate behavioral health services offerings, and under diagnosis in pregnant and new moms.

Generate Health is improving maternal behavioral health to have a positive impact on our moms, children and community as a whole.

CONVENING

Our perinatal behavioral health committee is a multi-sector group that is fostering the coordination of community resources to enhance and expand behavioral health services. It focuses on identifying and aligning the region around moms’ most pressing behavioral health issues to have the greatest impact.

RESULTS SNAPSHOT: We implemented a universal system of screening, assessment and referral across four pilot sites in St. Louis. As a result, there was an 87% decrease in the number of participating patients that scored at high depression levels.

Our work in this area includes:
PERINATAL RESOURCE NETWORK

Our research has shown that women with behavioral health needs who live in poverty are consumed with trying to provide a stable environment for themselves and their families. This makes it difficult for them to participate in clinical treatment. To support their needs, we are launching a Perinatal Resource Network of health care providers and organizations providing behavioral health screening, referral and support services for pregnant women and new moms. This network takes a shared data system and holistic case management approach that will connect moms with housing, transportation, jobs, healthy food and childcare support services, so they can more successfully participate in treatment. Fostering this level of coordination among resources is enhancing, expanding and make the best use of the systems of care available in St. Louis.

EDUCATION

We regularly hold professional development workshops designed to increase awareness of maternal behavioral health issues in the medical and support services communities. These workshops inform local providers of the latest evidence-based best practices, build awareness of behavioral health needs in the community, and help build critical relationships and collaboration among attendees.

RESULTS SNAPSHOT: Almost 300 people attended our Working Together trainings and reported a strong increase in their knowledge on maternal mental health issues.

ADVOCACY

PBHI will advocate for policies that improve the emotional well-being and quality of life for perinatal women of color and their families. We will accomplish this by utilizing the expertise of community voice, and a multidisciplinary network of community, providers, organizations, and systems leaders.

Reports and Resources

The Home Visitation Collaborative, staffed and supported by Generate Health, was a need identified through FLOURISH stakeholders.  Home visiting programs bridge gaps in accessing information and resources that families need by sending nurses, educators, or community health workers directly to a family’s home.  Through these programs, they develop a personal relationship and serve as a resource to support that family during pregnancy and throughout the early years of their child’s life.

With insights from other home visiting programs like Promise 1000 in Kansas City and Every Child Succeeds in Cincinnati, FLOURISH, along with home visiting providers, consumers of home visiting, and other stakeholders, created the St. Louis Home Visiting Collaborative. This partnership establishes the infrastructure to support home visiting providers and consumers, encourages coordination to improve the network, and ensures provider organizations are prepared to meaningfully and respectfully engage with families.

Every year, more than 3,500 babies die unexpectedly while sleeping, and in St. Louis, Black babies are seven times more likely to die of SUIDS (Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Syndrome) than white babies.  Most infant deaths can be avoided by practicing the Safe Sleep ABC’s: infants sleep safest Alone, on their Back, and in their Crib, bassinet, or portable crib.

FLOURISH, with staffing and support from Generate Health, promotes safe sleep practices through a Safe Sleep Champions program, a safe sleep shared measurement system, safe sleep education, and portable crib distribution for families.  FLOURISH also hosts an annual safe sleep summit and has produced educational materials, such as a Safe Sleep St. Louis Guide, stickers, and magnets.  Learn more about these safe sleep efforts on the FLOURISH St. Louis website.

Generate Health
3407 S. Jefferson Ave., #135
St. Louis, MO 63118
phone: (314) 880-5719
email: info@generatehealthstl.org
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