259420 Maternal depression: Strengthening systems of care

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Christina Wilds, DrPH, MPH, MEd, CHES , Highmark Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA
Maternal depression affects 10% to 20% of mothers within the first year of birth and contributes to staggering economic costs. Therefore, improving the health of mothers, infants and children is an important public health goal for the United States. Their well-being can predict future public health challenges for families. Reducing the incidence of maternal depression requires strong policies, early identification and treatment and routine standards of care. Strengthening systems of care for women with maternal depression needs cross-collaboration and coordinated efforts from many stakeholders to eliminate barriers and to ensure that diagnosis and treatment successfully advance. There have been calls to provide greater resources and funding to build or strengthen the capacity to offer quality maternal depression programs and services, to develop more effective screening and diagnostic tools and to reduce disparities in diagnosis and treatment. With grants totaling $800,000, the Highmark Foundation assisted 5 organizations with implementing programs designed to: (1) bridge silos of care with a quality improvement initiative for underserved pregnant women and mothers at-risk for maternal depression; (2) coordinate medical care and supportive services through a single point of contact; and (3) expand or improve existing screening tools to facilitate services for maternal depression. To measure programs' effectiveness, maternal depression screening tools were routinely administered. Results demonstrated that at-risk women were receiving appropriate services and being referred for treatment earlier after diagnosis. Grantees were successful in improving access to services, increasing the number of women screened and reducing disparities in diagnosis and treatment.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of foundations in addressing disparities in maternal and child health Develop evidence-based strategies to removing barriers to maternal depression screening, programs and services for underserved populations Identify the role of systems of care in the development and delivery of prevention models that address the effects of maternal depression

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present on this topic because I am a grantmaker with knowledge of philanthropy and the impact on health outcomes. I also developed the abstract, am a participating member of a diverse and productive maternal child health collaborative and prepared a publication on the subject of strengthening maternal depression systems of care.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.