About  $90,000 – that’s how much Guilford County government is getting in grant money to run a program meant to help provide healthcare access to parents and newborns in “vulnerable populations.”

Guilford County is receiving the Smart Start grant to fund its “Adopt-A-Mom” program from now until June 30 of next year.

Among other services, county health workers will provide prenatal care at a reduced cost to mothers and newborns in the county who otherwise might fall through the gaps.

This is a continuation of an existing program that the Guilford County Division of Public help finds highly beneficial. Smart Start has provided funding to support of the Adopt-A-Mom program since 2015.

The program fits in nicely with a concerted effort by the county that began about five years ago to address the alarming rate of infant and newborn deaths in Guilford County – especially in the low-income, at-risk communities of the county.

According to information provided to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, who will officially accept the grant money at a meeting on Thursday, Dec. 7,  the Adopt-A-Mom program provides “health education, counseling, and resources on topics related to the reduction of infant mortality and promotion of healthy families.”

 For roughly three decades, the county has partnered with local obstetric providers to offer prenatal care at a reduced cost to families who don’t qualify for Medicaid and who are also otherwise uninsured.

Funding from the Smart Start program – as well as from Every Baby Guilford nonprofit organization – provides the vital program that helps about  230 people annually.

Some of the money will be used to bring in the services of a medical Interpreter, who will help eliminate language barriers. Both the interpreter and the Adopt-A-Mom workers also serve as “patient navigators” – that is, they assist clients in finding help from community-based organizations for mothers and their newborns.