JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – To help mothers cope before and after the birth of their children, a new program will launch at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson.

A five-year $3.75 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and a $300,000 Empowering Health grant from UnitedHealthcare is funding the Child Access to Mental Health and Psychiatry (CHAMP) for Moms.

Officials said the funds will give the state’s pediatricians, obstetricians and gynecologists access UMMC mental health professionals to address mothers’ perinatal and postnatal mental health challenges. The care is provided via telehealth from a baby’s pediatric visit or a mother’s perinatal or post-partum visits to her OB-GYN. 

“UnitedHealthcare is honored to support the important work these local organizations are doing to provide greater access to services for underserved communities in Mississippi,” said Michael Parnell, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Mississippi. “Social and economic factors continue to have a significant impact on achieving and maintaining good health. These grants enable us to work closely with our community partners and to be there for what matters in addressing social determinants of health for their residents.” 

CHAMP was started as a pilot project in 2018 by UMMC, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and Families as Allies through a $2.3 million federal cooperative agreement with the Health Resources Services Administration. 

Originally started to link pediatric care providers around in underserved areas of the Mississippi Delta as well as in the Jackson metro area, CHAMP now covers every county in the state.