4019.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 9:15 AM

Abstract #11967

Reaching out to homeless pregnant women: A model for providing access to prenatal care

Rachel Harrington-Levey, MPH, Carolyn Silk, NP, MPH, Betty Latham, BA, and Cheryl Kane, RN, MEd. Family Team, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, 729 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02118, (617) 414-2994, rharringtonlevey.bhchp@juno.com

Objective: The disruption caused by frequent moves makes it difficult for homeless pregnant women to connect with prenatal care. Because of the multiple health risks faced by this population, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) has developed an interdisciplinary outreach team to assist pregnant clients gain access to prenatal care services. Methods: A team of physicians, nurses, case managers, and a nutritionist provides outreach to 25 shelters in Boston. The team visits shelters weekly to identify pregnant women who are not connected to prenatal care, refer them to services, and assist with transportation to appointments. The team provides ongoing support to clients throughout their pregnancy, following them as they move from shelter to shelter. Clients are also screened for mental health and substance abuse needs and referred to BHCHP mental health clinicians and community supports. Results: From a sub-group of 70 pregnant homeless women, 20 were not connected to prenatal care. The team assisted 18 of these clients to connect with prenatal care services. Additionally, 24 clients were given support around substance abuse histories, 8 received services related to current substance use, and 11 were referred for mental health services. Conclusion: The outreach team effectively identified homeless pregnant women who were in need of services and assisted them to connect with prenatal care and other health services. This unique outreach model allows team members to follow clients as they move from shelter to shelter, which is essential to helping clients maintain a connection to services throughout their pregnancy.

Learning Objectives: 1. Identify five obstacles to accessing prenatal care for homeless pregnant women. 2. Describe outreach strategies used to identify homeless women who are in need of prenatal care services. 3. Discuss role of interdisciplinary outreach team in connecting homeless pregnant women to prenatal care and other health and social services

Keywords: Prenatal Interventions, Homeless

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA