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Vidant Health receives federal grant to create program, improve neonatal morbidity and mortality rates

August 01, 2018 posted by Erica Mizelle

Greenville, N.C. – Vidant Health has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to improve state maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality rates. In Perinatal Region VI, which includes the 29 counties in eastern North Carolina, these rates are of growing concern.

“In 2015, of all mothers who died from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes in the state, 26 percent lived in the east—and more than 50 percent of births in this region are unintended,” said Kay Mitchell, MSN, CMN, a certified nurse midwife and the perinatal/neonatal outreach coordinator for the program. “The grant will support Vidant’s mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina, especially as it relates to supporting mothers, babies and their families.”

The program will assess the 18 hospitals in the region that have birthing facilities, using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Level of Care Assessment Tool. The assessment will reinforce the levels for maternal and neonatal care so that all mothers and babies will receive risk-appropriate care based on their medical diagnosis.

“The levels of care identified  through the program’s assessment will ensure the hospitals in Perinatal Region VI provide the best and most appropriate care to moms and babies,” said Mitchell.

Additionally, the program will work to reduce unintended pregnancies and short-interval pregnancies by increasing availability of immediate postpartum insertion of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC).

The LARC program will help women decide when to become pregnant by providing them access to reproductive life planning options in the immediate postpartum period, prior to discharge from the hospital. Empowering women with access to these options will support healthy pregnancy intervals and improve the health of mothers and babies.

The grant is administered by the NCDHHS Division of Public Health, Women’s Health Branch. Vidant is one of two institutions in the state to receive funding for this work.


Media contact: Erica Mizelle, 252-531-4612 or


About the NCDHHS Women’s Health Branch

The Women's Health Branch develops and promotes programs and services that protect the health and well-being of infants and of women during their child-bearing years. The goal is to improve the overall health of women, reduce infant sickness and death, and strengthen families and communities. The Women's Health Branch also offers guidance, consultation and training for professionals who provide women's health services.

Local health departments and other community agencies serving each of the 100 counties in North Carolina provide a variety of these women’s health services, including family planning, prenatal care, flu shots and other women's immunizations, and pregnancy care management. For more information on the services near you, contact your local health department external link. The Women's Health Branch is part of the Women’s and Children’s Health Section of the North Carolina Division of Public Health.


About Vidant Health

Vidant Health is a mission-driven, 1,512-bed health system that annually serves more than 1.4 million people in 29 eastern North Carolina counties. The not-for-profit system is made up of more than 12,500 employees, eight hospitals, home health, hospice, wellness centers, and Vidant Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician and provider group with more than 500 providers in more than 90 locations in eastern North Carolina. Vidant is affiliated with The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. As a major resource for health services and education, Vidant has a mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina. For more information, visit

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