Equality Health Foundation and March of Dimes Report Healthy Mama Festival Success

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Equality Health Foundation and March of Dimes Report Healthy Mama Festival Success

March of Dimes Mom & Baby Mobile Health Center® Debuted March 9 

Equality Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Equality Health LLC, and March of Dimes, with premier sponsor Mercy Care, are proud to announce the resounding success of the inaugural Healthy Mama Festival on Saturday, March 9. Over 1,500 attendees gathered at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in South Phoenix for a free community event dedicated to promoting maternal and infant health.

The Healthy Mama Festival aimed to empower mothers and mothers-to-be with knowledge, resources, and community connections to help navigate their pregnancy and post-partum journey with health and well-being in mind. Together with 24 exhibitors and nine sponsor partners, the organizations distributed 1,000 diaper bags, healthy meals and coronavirus tests.

In addition to the 1,000 diaper bags filled with mom and baby resources, event attendees benefitted from a variety of maternal health and well-child educational activities. Medical screenings included free vaccines for adults and children, flu shots, and mammogram screenings, as well as OB/Gyn meet and greets. March of Dimes’ newly-launched Mom & Baby Mobile Health Center® was on site to provide hypertension screening and maternal and infant health information.

During the festival, the Mom & Baby Mobile Health Center® served its first patient, marking a significant milestone in the journey to expand access to healthcare services for expectant mothers and their babies. Equipped with a team of dedicated healthcare professionals, this state-of-the-art mobile unit will ongoingly deliver essential healthcare services directly to underserved communities.

“The Healthy Mama Festival embodies our shared commitment to empowering and supporting mothers and families, particularly those facing barriers to care,” said Tomás León, Equality Health Foundation president. “Equality Health Foundation and March of Dimes remain dedicated to advancing maternal health equity across the state of Arizona.”

As part of Equality Health LLC, Equality Health Foundation is committed to expanding access to care, accelerating health education and eliminating health inequities. This is particularly important among pregnant individuals, as maternal mortality rates more than doubled in the last two decades in the U.S. and quadrupled in Arizona. According to a recent study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the number of deaths per 100,000 live births rose from 7.6 to 32.1 between 1999-2019. Rates among Black and Native American citizens increased even more.

“The U.S. is facing an urgent maternal and infant health crisis and March of Dimes is committed to bringing on-the-ground maternal and infant health programs and services to families where they are,” said, Kelly Ernst, March of Dimes senior vice president, chief revenue and impact officer. “Together with our partners like Equality Health Foundation, we can end preventable maternal health risks and death, end preventable preterm birth, and close the health equity gap for every family.”

Over 40% of births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid. As part of Equality Health LLC, Equality Health Foundation established a partnership with March of Dimes as part of an ongoing commitment to improving maternal and infant health outcomes and building healthier communities for generations to come. Both organizations look forward to continuing their partnership and expanding access to essential healthcare services for all families.

For more information on Equality Health Foundation and the festival, please visit equalityhealthfoundation.org/healthy-mama-festival-phoenix/.

About Equality Health Foundation

Established in 2019, Equality Health Foundation envisions a world of vibrant and inclusive communities where all individuals have the opportunity to live healthy lives. A bold vision like this cannot be accomplished alone and requires extensive collaboration across local communities around the country to make a sustainable and transformative change—a movement for advancing equal health for all. For more information about Equality Health Foundation, visit equalityhealthfoundation.org/ or follow @EQHFoundation on Facebook, @EQHFoundation on Twitter, and @eqhfoundation on LinkedIn.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every family can get the best possible start. Since 1938, we’ve built a successful legacy to support every pregnant person and every family. To learn more about March of Dimes, please visit marchofdimes.org.

About Mercy Care

Mercy Care is a not-for-profit Medicaid managed care health plan, serving AHCCCS members in Arizona since 1985. Mercy Care is a local company sponsored by Dignity Health and Ascension Health. Mercy Care provides access to physical and behavioral health care services for Medicaid-eligible families, children, seniors, and individuals with developmental/cognitive disabilities. Learn more at MercyCareAZ.org.  

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