Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) joined officials from Maryland, Prince George’s County and Dimensions Healthcare System to celebrate the start of prenatal services at the Greater Baden Walker Mill Health Center in Capitol Heights with a ribbon-cutting for their newly expanded and renovated facility. Greater Baden will utilize a state grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission to expand access to new prenatal services for at-risk women and reduce health disparities in Prince George’s County.They received $400,000 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to double the size of its facility in 2010.
“Despite being one of the wealthiest, most educated state in America, Maryland ranks 39th in the country in infant mortality rate, in part because of inadequate prenatal care. We must do more for our children and for women across the state,” said Senator Cardin.
“The regional and racial disparities are disturbing. Prince George’s County has the highest infant mortality rate in the state with nearly 12 out of every 1000 Prince George’s County infants dying at birth. And according to the most recent data, African-American infants were 260 more likely to die than White infants. The federal-state partnership that has helped to expand the facility and the prenatal services here at the Greater Baden Walker Mill Health Center will make a real difference and save lives by providing at-risk mothers-to-be with appropriate care and skills to raise healthy and active children.
“I am proud that the Affordable Care Act ensures coverage of preventive and basic health services, including maternity benefits. Investments in health programs like these pay for themselves. For example, a $1 investment in prenatal care for a woman with diabetes generates $5 in savings from reduced complications. Earlier care will prevent illness and disease in both expectant mothers and their babies before they require more costly treatment.”