Since 2001, Tougaloo College/Delta Health Partners (TC/DHP) has been working to reduce infant mortality among high-risk and underserved residents of the Mississippi Delta. The seven counties in the Delta Health Partners target area are some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country. They include: Bolivar, Coahoma, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tunica and Washington counties. Residents face the daily challenges associated with abject poverty, chronic unemployment, limited educational opportunities, and extreme rural living. They also face a health care infrastructure weakened by increasing demand, rising costs, and diminishing resources.
The goal of the Tougaloo College/Delta Health Partners’ (TC/DHP) Healthy Start project is to improve prenatal health outcomes for the teens and women, and their infants, living in the Mississippi Delta. By strengthening the prenatal health delivery system and establishing a new model of integrated prenatal health care services, we can ameliorate the existing disparate outcomes associated with infant mortality, low-birth weight, and pre-term births. TC/DHP utilizes a case management team model, consisting of a registered nurse, social worker, and nutritionist.
The TC/DHP teams work in partnership with schools and hospitals to provide timely prenatal health services to high-risk pregnant and interconceptional teens and women, and their infants. These coordinated, comprehensive health services include: outreach and recruitment; case management; health education and training; interconceptional care; and, screening and referral for depression and other risk factors. Priority is given to linking all participants to an accessible medical home.