HEALTHY MAMAS GROW HAPPY BABIES
In 2018, Penn Medicine reported that 39.4% of expectant mothers in Lancaster go without early prenatal care. Babies born to mothers who received prenatal care are three times more likely to have normal birth weight and 60% less likely to die within 28 days of delivery.
Lancaster City’s Health Department must assume the responsibility of educating it’s expectant mothers on the benefits of prenatal care and services available in the community. The Health Department should also incorporate a women’s health review into their daily practices as to identify community resource needs for women, infants and families and improve service systems.
Expectant mothers who are eligible for Medical Assistance, are able to participate in LGH’s Healthy Beginnings Plus (HBP) to help them have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Participants of HBP received an individualized health care team that works with doctors, midwife, nurses and social workers to meet their needs.
Community programs like HBP should be further supported and promoted by Lancaster City through public health campaigns.
The health of expectant mothers is relevant to every issue-unhealthy mothers cannot be a productive part of the workforce and prepare themselves for motherhood; and, unhealthy babies grow up to face difficulties learning in school. As we begin to address key issues in the City—transportation, education, public safety—the health of expectant mothers should be a driver of each and a topic of discussion at the decision making table.
Of the 20 million new STDs reported last year, half were among young people (between the ages of 15 to 24).
Of all lifetime cases of mental illness, 75% begin before the age of 24 and 50% by the age of 14. And, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that approximately 50% of young people struggling with a mental illness drop out of high school.
Lancaster City Council must build relationships with the School District of Lancaster’s School Board to ensure that all of our city’s youth have universal access to comprehensive mental health, sexual and reproductive health information and services.
More than 70,200 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017. In Lancaster County, Opioids claimed the lives of 165 of our neighbors in 2017— 60 more than in 2016, a 40% increase.
Dr. Levine, Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has declared a statewide public health emergency to find solutions to the opioid epidemic.
LGH has partnered with The RASE Project Lancaster to guarantee our community has a “warm handoff” program that ensures all those rated for an opioid overdose in the Emergency Room is provided the resources to seek long-term recovery health services.
Project Lazarus Lancaster County equips our community with the expertise to recognize and respond to opioid overdoses by administering naloxone, also called Narcan Nasal Spray, and doing rescue breaths.
Narcan Nasal Spray is a prescription medicine that can stop an overdose; with it anyone can save a life. Parents, children and neighbors can administer Narcan Nasal Spray to someone who is overdosing on opioids.
Lancaster City must create a public health campaign to demonstrate to our community that we care. We must increase access to Narcan for all city residents. And, our city must develop city-wide trauma-informed training initiative—for residents, police force, educators, and public servants.