In 2014, March of Dimes is leading an effort to restore funding for the Black Infant Health (BIH) Program in the California budget. Your voices and support will be critical to help successfully advocate for the Legislature and the Governor to restore this funding.

There is a tremendous need for the BIH Program as Black infants have the highest rates of infant mortality and preterm birth among all racial and ethnic groups. The BIH Program is a successful program that helps to improve the health of mothers and babies by addressing all of the complex factors that contribute to these health disparities. Even though this program has proven successful, the California budget situation was so difficult several years ago that significant funding for the program was cut from the state budget. These cuts had a devastating effect on the BIH Program, including staff reductions, fewer women served and the closure of BIH sites.

Given the continuing need for this program, its proven success and the state’s improving fiscal outlook, the time is right to reinvest in the BIH Program. March of Dimes has identified this issue as our top advocacy priority for 2014 and will be working with a coalition of partner organizations to get this funding restored.

Be on the lookout in the coming months for opportunities to contact your legislators on this critical issue. Thank you for your support!

Justin Garrett
State Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs
March of Dimes

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