News Release

April 14, 2011

OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Carter Kimble - (405) 522-7510

OHCA Nurses Are Reaching Out To SoonerCare Moms

OKLAHOMA CITY – Pregnant SoonerCare members who live in areas of Oklahoma that have the poorest pregnancy and infant outcomes will be getting some extra attention through a new program being launched by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

In a recent report, Oklahoma ranked 40th in the nation in maternal health outcomes. Although there have been advancements in medical care, prenatal and infant health in Oklahoma continues to struggle with poor outcomes. To address these issues, the OHCA, the state agency that administers the SoonerCare program (Oklahoma Medicaid), has launched a targeted outreach to the 10 rural counties with the poorest pregnancy and infant outcomes.

Nurses from the agency will work with pregnant women in the targeted counties throughout their pregnancy and the first year of their baby’s life. The goal is to provide support for the mother and baby so that more of the mothers will have a healthy pregnancy with reduced delivery complications and the babies will have a healthier first year of life.

Focus will be placed on assisting at-risk women in these counties with access to proper medical care; helping them with transportation to and from doctor visits; as well as providing education on topics such as where to get assistance to stop smoking; Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services; successful breastfeeding techniques; how to have a healthy pregnancy, general infant safety and safe sleeping habits for their newborn.

“We want to make sure all of our mothers have healthy pregnancies. As early prenatal care is essential to delivering healthy babies we are focusing on connecting the mothers to these services,” OHCA CEO Mike Fogarty said. “By targeting our outreach, we are hoping to improve the birth outcomes in these high risk areas.”