$11 million federal grants to improve health for Latina mothers and children

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego-based Project Concern International announced Tuesday that it was awarded a total of $11 million in federal grants to improve health for Latina mothers and children along the U.S.-Mexico border.

A $9.5 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration will fund PCI’s Healthy Start program, which will provide care for 500 pregnant women annually, plus their children until they are 2 years old.

Also, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded PCI a grant of $1.5 million to increase chronic disease prevention, reduce risk and manage care for low-income, Latina women in four zip codes of San Diego county — 92102, 92105, 92113, and 91950. Those areas include National City and the San Diego neighborhoods of Chollas View, City Heights, Shelltown and Southcrest.

“PCI was founded in San Diego to improve the health of the poorest and most vulnerable communities around the world, but has maintained a continuous presence in the border region,” said Dr. Maria Lourdes Reyes, the director of PCI’s U.S. and border programs. “These awards represent decades of work to improve our community’s health and ensure that families facing the greatest obstacles have access to quality health care and community supports. This is major step to improving health here in San Diego and across the borders of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.”

PCI said it plans to work with organizations that provide prenatal care, labor and delivery for women who live in areas that have some of the highest levels of poverty in the country and the poorest birth outcomes.

In San Diego, many Latinas suffer from chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, according to PCI. The nonprofit said it will train community health workers and provide resources for them to work with Latinas in improving their health.

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