Tampa General Hospital’s Women’s Institute and Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County Secure $3M Grant to Extend Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Services to Hillsborough CountyPublished: Nov 15, 2023
In a transformative partnership, TGH joins forces with a consortium of health care leaders to eradicate maternal health care inequity for underserved populations in Hillsborough County.
Tampa, FL (Nov. 15, 2023) – Tampa General Hospital (TGH), a world-class academic health system committed to serving its community, is pleased to announce the receipt of a transformative $3 million grant aimed at bolstering maternal morbidity and mortality services in underserved regions of Hillsborough County. This three-year grant, with an annual funding of $1 million, will empower Tampa General Hospital’s Women’s Institute to expand its telehealth capabilities and provide critical health care support to expectant mothers and their families in areas that have historically faced health care disparities. The grant was awarded to Tampa General Hospital and the Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County (HSC) by the Florida Department of Health Office of Minority Health as part of its Programs to Reduce Severe Maternal Morbidity through Telehealth initiative.
"This is a community investment that will greatly improve maternal health outcomes in our region,” said Dr. Judette Louis, chief of the TGH Women’s Institute and James M. Ingram Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “Through this grant, we are able to address a pressing issue and work towards a future where every mother receives the support she deserves."
This endeavor aims to solve the unequal access to maternal health care in underserved communities. In addition to providing comprehensive maternal care, the program will include efforts to bridge the digital divide by ensuring that families are connected and have access to telehealth services. Partner sites will also be equipped to accommodate patients who prefer in-person care to bolster flexibility and inclusivity. The TGH Women’s Institute and Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County will lead the charge with support from community-based partners like the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, REACHUP, Inc., Grace Community Medical Center and BEST Academy.
“This transformative grant will allow the TGH Women’s Institute to more fully commit to improving health care equity and outcomes in local populations that truly need it,” said Melissa Golombek, vice president of the TGH Children’s Hospital and Women’s Institute. “We look forward to collaborating with our community partners to bring these innovative telehealth solutions to families.”
Through the grant, TGH and HSC aim to enroll about 3,000 expectant mothers, focusing on reducing maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity, especially in communities facing racial and ethnic disparities in health care outcomes.
Catherine Fuhrman, director of operations at the Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County, said, “Anyone who is pregnant can benefit from this program, but our target is underserved maternal patients. TGH will serve as their medical home, ensuring they receive the necessary social support and health optimization. Moreover, the care team will follow the mother and baby for a year after delivery, promoting long-term well-being."
Tampa General was ranked a top 10 hospital in the nation and the highest-ranked hospital in Florida for Obstetrics & Gynecology by U.S. News & World Report for 2023-24. It was included in and redesignated as a Baby-Friendly® Hospital in 2023.
Tampa General Hospital’s Women’s Institute provides a full range of women’s health services, from routine obstetrics and gynecology to more complex maternal-fetal medicine and neonatal care. As an academic health system and nationally recognized leader in high-risk obstetrics, Tampa General offers access to the highest level of women’s and infant care in virtually every medical subspecialty, as well as psychology, genetic counseling, pediatrics and more.
For more information on all that TGH is doing for maternity care and beyond, please visit https://www.tgh.org/institutes-and-services/womens-institute.