Newsroom | News Releases

HCSC Launches Expanded Maternal and Infant Health Initiative in Illinois

CHICAGO — Health Care Service Corporation is bringing additional support and resources to make a critical impact on the health of moms and babies in Illinois. The expanded maternal and infant health initiative aims to improve health outcomes by increasing access to care, reducing care gaps, and educating and engaging residents in the local community.

The initiative builds on foundational work already underway to advance maternal and infant health. It includes increased support for members, as well as additional focus on partnering with key stakeholders in the community, including clinical partners. By collaborating with trusted community organizations and partners, HCSC is able to leverage their knowledge, experience, and talents locally to help support healthier communities.

“State reviewers found that 91% of pregnancy-related deaths in Illinois were potentially preventable, due to clinical, system, social, and community factors,” said Yolanda Lawson, MD, Executive Medical Director, Maternal and Infant Health at HCSC. “We are taking a data-driven approach to target the social and clinical drivers that impact maternal health.”

HCSC will prioritize:

  • Promoting enhanced quality in birthing locations across Illinois, with a focus on health equity.
  • Providing resources to community-based organizations that address the social determinants of health.
  • Supporting the expansion of the maternal health workforce, including doulas and midwives to reduce perinatal disparities.

Efforts will focus on helping women and families through pregnancy planning, childbirth and beyond, concentrating on county-level maternity care deserts as outlined in the most recent state Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report.

HCSC first rolled out its expanded maternal support program last year, with a focus on  Texas. It is just one of the ways the company has demonstrated its commitment to improving maternal and infant health in the states it serves.

Highlights of the initiative include:

  • Funding up to 15 new CenteringPregnancy sites across Texas. HCSC has collaborated with Centering Healthcare Institute since 2020 to expand access to CenteringPregnancy across Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. CenteringPregnancy is an evidence-based, group prenatal care service delivery model shown to improve birth outcomes.
  • Collaborating with the health care incubator Matter for the second cohort of 51 Labs – which is working with 10 startups to address the maternal mortality crisis in the United States.
  • In Texas:
    • Supporting distribution of 14,000 six-month supplies of prenatal vitamins and minerals through Vitamin Angels.
    • Collaborating with Huston-Tillotson University to train doulas, midwives, lactation consultants and support maternal health education.
    • Funding a March of Dimes Mom & Baby Mobile Health Center to increase access to maternal and infant care in Houston.
    • Working with tech-enabled platforms Delfina and InovCares to support maternal health providers and mothers with tools to promote healthier pregnancies and birth outcomes.
    • Collaborating with the Texas Pediatric Society to offer professional education for primary care providers and pediatricians, along with other resources, with the shared goal to improve outcomes for mothers and babies statewide.

After Illinois, HCSC next plans to launch its expanded maternal and infant health initiative in New Mexico later in 2024.


About Health Care Service Corporation
Health Care Service Corporation serves nearly 23 million people across the United States through its portfolio of health benefit solutions. HCSC provides health coverage options for employers large and small, individuals and families, and Medicare and Medicaid plans. HCSC also offers related health care products and services such as pharmacy solutions, life and dental insurance, and health data technology. 

Media Contact

Tamara Gibson

Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company.