Harris County has a problem: maternal mortality. It will take more than just community awareness but public policy changes to impact health equity. Improving Maternal Health’s goal is to support the community by lending a voice and putting into action a plan to get to the root causes of this issue. Below, please find the legislative agenda that serves as an outline to the steps identified by Improving Maternal Health in Harris County: A Community Plan, 2018 released by a steering committee of health leaders convened by Houston Endowment, as necessary:

  1. Create and fund a maternal mortality and morbidity data registry demonstration project for Harris County, Texas.
  2. Simplify and expedite seamless enrollment across Medicaid, CHIP-Perinatal, and Healthy Texas Women.
  3. a) Increase postpartum coverage through Medicaid up to one year.
    b) Sustain and enhance health coverage for all Texas women.
  4.  Increase state Medicaid reimbursement rates to private physicians.
  5.  Encourage the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to seek Medicaid waivers and other funding sources for coverage for substance use disorder (SUD) and other behavioral health issues for Medicaid recipients and other women with low incomes.
  6. Modify Medicaid transportation policy/coverage to allow dependent children of a Medicaid recipient to accompany the recipient being transported to a Medicaid provider.
  7.  Cover doula services through Medicaid.
  8. Improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) in order to prevent unintended pregnancy.

Advocacy Committee

Heather Cantu – Harris County Precinct 1
Emily Dean – Episcopal Health Foundation
Evelyn Delgado – Healthy Futures of Texas
Susan Fordice – The Hackett Center for Mental Health
Rebecca Fowler – Mental Health America Greater Houston
Kami Geoffray – Women’s Health and Family Planning of Texas
Annalee Gulley – Mental Health America Greater Houston
Aurora Harris – Young Invincibles

King Hillier – Harris Health (Co-Chair)
Constance Jones – consultant
John Kajander – Houston First
Lindsey Lanagan – Legacy Community Health
Elena Marks – Episcopal Health Foundation
Angel Randolph – Hope Consulting
Tim Schauer – Cornerstone Government Affairs (Co-Chair)
Christy Serrano – First 3 Years
Amber Weed – Harris County Precinct 1