March of Dimes Urges Congress to Increase FY 2022 Funding for Critical Programs to Support Mom & Baby Health

ARLINGTON, Va., March 23, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Speaking today to the Subcommittee on Home Resources for Labor, Health, and Human Services and Allied Agencies, March of Dimes, President and CEO Stacey D. Stewart The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the maternal and infant health crisis and urged lawmakers to adequately fund important programs that are vital to maternal and baby health. Stewart recommended funding priorities for fiscal 2022, including critical and breakthrough research, surveillance systems, screenings, and quality improvement programs that focus on improving health outcomes for women and their infants.

“The US remains one of the most dangerous industrialized nations for childbirth, and it’s even worse for women and babies of the same color,” Stewart warned lawmakers. “Premature births are a leading cause of infant mortality, which has slowly declined in recent years. Yet two babies and two women die every hour of pregnancy complications every hour.”

She commended the Biden-Harris administration for its commitment to addressing these health disparities and said it was imperative to push new policies such as the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act. This comprehensive legislative package aims to fill loopholes in existing legislation to improve health outcomes for black mothers, who die three to four times more often than their white counterparts. Click here to read Stewart’s written testimony.

Stewart made the following recommendations for FY22 funding priorities:

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) March of Dimes asks the subcommittee for at least one deployment $ 1.7 billion for NICHD’s groundbreaking biomedical research activities on preterm birth, maternal mortality, maternal substance use, and exposure to prenatal substances.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Monitoring for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies: March of Dimes recommends funding the CDC Network for Monitoring for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies (SET-NET) within the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disorders (NCBDDD) $ 100 million Providing real-time clinical and real-time survey data on the impact of COVID-19.
  • Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs): March of Dimes Inquiries $ 30 million to reach all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico to maximize the capabilities of MMRCs. Funded by the CDC in 25 states, MMRCs identify, review, and characterize maternal deaths and prevention options. However, more standardized data collection is needed to study all of the factors that contribute to severe maternal mortality, preventable deaths, and poor birth outcomes.
  • Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PQCs): Requests from March of Dimes $ 30 million Fully scale PQCs in all states as needed. PQCs are state or multi-state networks that work to improve the quality of obstetrics and improve outcomes.
  • PRAMS (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System): Requests from March of Dimes $ 2 million Maintain PRAMS. This survey system collects country-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences, covering approximately 83 percent of all US births.
  • Newborn Screening: Both the Newborn Screening Quality Assurance Program (NSQAP) at CDC and the Heritable Disorders Program at Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have significantly improved the quality of newborn screening programs. March of Dimes requests $ 28 million and $ 28.883 million for these programs respectively.

HRSA Office for Mother and Child Health (MCHB)

  • Screening and Treatment for Maternal Depression and Related Behavioral Disorders Program: March of Dimes Inquiries $ 10 million for the Maternal Depression Program. This program provides government grants to treat maternal depression and other behavioral disorders through psychiatric counseling, care coordination, and training for frontline providers.
  • Maternal Mental Health Hotline: March of Dimes requests $ 5 million So that this 24 hour hotline provides SMS services, culturally appropriate support, and other public awareness efforts.

About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all mothers and babies. We support research, lead programs, and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we strengthen every mother and every family. Visit or for more information. Visit for convenience and assistance. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

SOURCE March of Dimes Inc.

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