FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 23, 2013
Contact: David Morgan (575) 528-5197
(Santa Fe) – The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced that New Mexico and three other states have been selected to participate in its Learning Network on Improving Birth Outcomes.
The Learning Network is designed to assist states in developing, implementing and aligning their key policies and initiatives on improving birth outcomes as measured by the incidence of preterm births and infant mortality.
The NGA will schedule in-state sessions and convene a networking conference for selected states to engage in open dialogue, share lessons learned and further their respective planning processes.
“This unique opportunity allows us to explore new ways to better care for babies born in New Mexico while working to reduce newborn hospitalization costs for parents,” said Governor Susana Martinez.
New Mexico will join Hawaii, Indiana, and West Virginia to participate in this learning network. The first round of state selections, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana and Michigan, were selected in the network’s first round last December.
The Department of Public Health has established a five-member core team that includes:
Ms. Retta Ward, M.P.H., NM Cabinet Secretary of Health.
Dr. Janis Gonzales, Acting Family Health Bureau Chief. (Team lead)
Dr. Anne Foster, M.D., M.P.H., Medicaid Medical Director.
Dr. Ron Reid, Ph.D., March of Dimes, State Director of Program Services and Government Affairs.
James William Ross, M.A., M.P.H., Cabinet Director, Office of the Governor
This team will work with the NGA to establish a statewide coalition of state and local agencies to improve birth outcomes, especially within the state’s high risk communities. Representation from the Certified Nurse Midwifery Board and University of New Mexico Hospital will be included in ongoing discussions.
“Participation in the learning network will help New Mexico overcome a recent challenge among state and territorial health officers to reduce preterm births by 8 percent by 2014,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Retta Ward, MPH. “The focus of our participation will be to align existing programs and to help our state meet that goal.”
The Learning Network initiative is part of the Alliance for Information on Maternal and Child Health Services (AIM). AIM is sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
To learn more about NGA’s health division, please visitwww.nga.org/cms/center/health.