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Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) issued a request, asking the public to provide input which will later be used to create a plan for Oklahoma when it comes to maternal and child health services.

The plan developed from the public’s input will take effect 2021 through 2025 and will include established goals and action items for this time period. According to OSDH, “The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant, Title V of the Social Security Act, is the only federal-state partnership program devoted to improving the health of all women, children and families.”

Oklahoma in 2018 alone served more than 1.3 million women and children through programs revolving around reducing infant maternal mortality, providing teen pregnancy prevention, educating on infant safe sleeping and also focusing on children with special health care needs and family involvement, according to OSDH.

As it stands, Maternal and Child Health services in Oklahoma right now have priorities including “reducing the number of babies who die before their first birthday, reducing injuries among children, improving the mental and behavioral health of women and children and reducing unplanned pregnancies.”

Suzi Harmon, coordinator of the public input survey for OSDH, said that’s where the public’s input comes into play.

“We need feedback that will represent all populations and backgrounds,” said Harman. “That is the only way to ensure our future plans and programs help every woman and child in the state.”

Input from Oklahoma residents will help identify if current priorities still require funds or if there are other things to focus on and prioritize first where funds should go when it comes to improving health for women and children.

The survey is available to the public online in English and in Spanish. Questions, according to OSDH, include health needs before, during and after pregnancy along with infant health and services for children with special health care needs.

The project is a collaboration between Oklahoma Department of Health as well as Human Services and Oklahoma Family Network. For more information on Title V programs to to complete the survey, contact the OSDH Maternal and Child Health Service at (405) 271-4480.

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