Perinatal Networks 20 Year Report

Next Steps for the Perinatal Networks

 

The Perinatal Networks have helped achieve the statewide improvements in perinatal health indicators over the past twenty years; there is more to be done. With the focus of each network on their specific community or region, each has – and will continue to monitor their own communities to ensure continued improvements are occurring and that the health and community services systems include the appropriate array of services in order to support and promote optimal perinatal and infant outcomes. While there have been tremendous inroads in improving the healthy outcomes of women of childbearing age (15 – 44 years) and their children, racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal health outcomes continue to exist and must be addressed. Disparities in infant and maternal mortality, prematurity and low birthweight infants, substance use by pregnant women and rates of poverty affect overall health, wellness and quality of life.

To date, the preponderance of national efforts to improve health outcomes has usually tended to focus on education, either at the individual, community or practitioner level. However, for any real, significant, longlasting change to be effective in reducing or eliminating health disparities and improve prenatal and perinatal outcomes, a comprehensive approach is required. Statewide concerns, challenges and emerging issues continue and must be addressed in a systematic approach with multi-faceted strategies. The Perinatal Networks’ involvement with the regional perinatal centers and forums will continue to grow and ideally provide larger collaborative initiatives for improving perinatal outcomes.

 

Key challenges for the Perinatal Networks include limited increases in funding to support the work of the Networks and new guidelines which promote the Perinatal Network concept as a program rather than an infrastructure. Given the historic resourcefulness of the Perinatal Networks and the collective power of Perinatal Network advocates, these challenges will be addressed and ideally remedied through diplomatic and creative ways in partnership with the leadership of New York State.

 

For more information on NYS Perinatal Network 20 year report click here!