Maternal, infant health programs leave some needs unattended

New Mexico

 A new study from a key New Mexico legislative committee suggests more can be done to improve the wellbeing of young children and their mothers through greater collaboration among six Health Department programs.

An evaluation released Wednesday by the Legislative Finance Committee says the agency’s early childhood and maternal health programs operate too independently at times.

The evaluation sees opportunities for data sharing and collaboration in the state’s creation of an Early Childhood Education Department to oversee several existing state programs.

One relies on Medicaid funding to provide voluntary home visits to parents of newborn children and coordinate medical care and educational services.

The new childhood agency also will oversee the Families, Infant and Toddler program geared toward infants and toddlers at risk of developmental delays, including babies born to drug-addicted mothers.

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