Michigan has won a friendly competition promoting prenatal and infant health through text messages with the help of Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) and Michigan Health Centers.
Since May, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories have participated in the Text4baby State Enrollment Contest, a friendly competition to encourage promotion of the free texting service. This national contest—which was launched at a bi-partisan Congressional briefing on May 17—has engaged states across the country in media and community outreach to help connect moms to the care they need through text4baby. The contest grew out of the enthusiasm of over 850 text4baby partners nationwide, and their support of text4baby as a valuable tool for improving maternal and infant health.
Winners were determined based on new users who enrolled during the contest period as a percentage of eligible moms. Three groups of states/territories with similar numbers of estimated new pregnancies and new infants (based on CDC live birth data) competed against each other. Throughout the contest, all partners were able to regularly monitor their progress by accessing subscriber enrollment data by zip code through the text4baby website.
MPCA encouraged Michigan Health Centers to promote Text4Baby at more than 200 sites across the state. MPCA Community HealthCorps members also directly enrolled nearly 30 pregnant women and new moms at the West Michigan Women’s Expo earlier this year. MPCA continued to spread the word as part of its Children’s Health Insurance Outreach Program funded through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The winners of the contest were announced and honored today by Sarah Ingersoll, text4baby Campaign Director, and JoAnne Fischer, Executive Director, Maternity Care Coalition, during the Martha May Eliot Awards Ceremony that took place at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. Michigan, Indiana, South Dakota, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were presented awards for winning the large state, medium state, small state, and honorable mention categories, respectively.
“I’d like to congratulate the winners of the State Enrollment Contest and express my sincere appreciation to all of the partners around the country who promote text4baby,” said Sarah Ingersoll, text4baby Campaign Director.
The State Enrollment Contest was supported by the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, American Public Health Association, CityMatCH, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Healthy Start Association, March of Dimes, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, National WIC Association, and Southern Governors Association.
Text4baby is the largest mobile health initiative in the nation and is designed to promote maternal and child health. Women who text “BABY” (or “BEBE” for Spanish) to 511411 receive three free text messages a week, timed to their due date or their baby’s birth date, through pregnancy and up until the baby’s first birthday. The messages, which have been developed in collaboration with government and nonprofit health experts, address topics such as immunization, nutrition, birth defect prevention, and safe sleep. Text4baby also includes features such as appointment reminders, interactive features, fun quizzes, urgent health alerts, and support for accessing resources. The participating wireless phone companies have waived standard messaging fees, so text4baby is free for their customers.
Text4baby is made possible through a public-private partnership. Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor. Founding partners include National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, Voxiva, CTIA – The Wireless Foundation, and Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company). Learn more about the program at www.text4baby.org.