I'm a Doula for Health Reform!
Senators Durbin and Burris with HC One Doula Lobby Day Participants - March 11, 2010
HealthConnect One hosted members of our National Network for Advocacy Day in Washington, DC -- in March 2010, March 2011, and February 2012 -- to voice support for continued funding for community-based doula and breastfeeding peer counselor programs in the federal budget.
Click here for more information on our National Community-Based Doula and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Network.
for our National Community-Based Doula and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Network
- Maintain and expand federal and state appropriations for community-based doula and breastfeeding peer counselor programs
- Promote the use of community health workers, including community-based doulas and breastfeeding peer counselors, nationwide
- Encourage public/private partnerships to advance fiscal sustainability of community-based doula and breastfeeding peer counselor programs
- Establish Medicaid and private insurance reimbursement for community-based doula and breastfeeding peer counselor services
The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding
On January 20, 2011, US Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin released a Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. She specifically calls on communities to "...expand and improve programs that provide mother-to-mother support and peer counseling." HC One is especially delighted that she refers to community-based doulas in her implementation strategy. Read more...
Health Care Reform was passed into law in March 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2012, and is already creating significant positive change. For a brief update on activities of the 112th U.S. Congress which could impact community-based doula programs, please click here.
Public Law 111-148, HR3590: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010.
We are pleased and excited about this historic legislation and what it means for Maternal and Child Health Programs. The new law includes two sections that can help us meet our #1 advocacy goal: maintain and expand federal appropriations for community-based doula programs. Doula funding is not yet included in health reform, and we are working with our Network to achieve this objective.
Title V, Subtitle D, Section 5313, Grants to Promote the Community Health Workforce
Funds, to be appropriated, will be administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the Secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services, to promote positive health behaviors and outcomes for populations in medically underserved communities through the use of community health workers. Use of the funds includes home visitation regarding maternal health and prenatal care. This section also provides a definition for a community health worker. Eligible entities include public and nonprofit private organizations.
Title II, Subtitle L, Section 2951, Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs
$1.5 billion is provided for home visitation services to states through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program to support services to pregnant women, young children and their families. States competing for these funds must conduct a statewide needs assessment to identify communities at risk, and are required to demonstrate improvements for the families they serve.
You can access the full text of HR3590: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act here.
Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), a champion of the community-based doula program, has been working to ensure that the community-based doula program is considered eligible under Section 5313, Grants to Promote the Community Health Workforce. He made remarks on the Senate Floor during Senate debate of HR3590, on December 23, 2009, wherein he mentions community-based doula programs specifically (see sidebar).
You can read Senator Durbin’s full statement for the Congressional Record by visiting www.thomas.gov or clicking here. We are very grateful for his support and the work of his staff. We will now advocate with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as they design health reform to ensure that community-based doula programs will be eligible for the Grants to Promote the Community Health Workforce, and we will keep you updated on our progress.
Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) is the current federal funding stream for the community-based doula program. These funds are distributed by the Healthy Start and Perinatal Services Division in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Grants are awarded to rural and urban community-based doula programs, as well as a technical assistance Leadership Institute.
For background on federal funding for community-based doula programs, please click here.
Media on Doula
Click here for news related to the community-based doula model.
Keep Me Informed!