As an Outreach Partner of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) text4baby initiative, the State of North Carolina, led by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS), won first place nationally among large states in the 2013 Text4baby State Enrollment Contest.
As Text4baby is a free cell phone text messaging service for pregnant women and new moms who text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411. Text messages are sent three times a week and provide information and resources on how to have a healthy pregnancy and care for an infant. The text messages are timed to the pregnant woman’s due date or the baby’s date of birth.
Research shows that 90 percent of Americans have a mobile phone and fewer have access to the Internet. Texting is a much more prevalent means of providing information among women of childbearing age and minority populations who face higher infant mortality rates.
“Mothers have busy lives”, said Dr. Robin Cummings, Deputy Secretary for Health Services and acting State Health Director. “Using text messaging to reach out is a quick and convenient way to get valuable information to them in a timely manner.”
The Text4baby State Enrollment Contest grew out of the enthusiasm of over 1,000 text4baby partners nationwide and their support of text4baby as a valuable tool for improving maternal and child health. Rankings were based on the number of new users enrolled in text4baby in each state during the contest period as a percentage of eligible moms (based on a calculation of estimated new pregnancies and live births for each state).
The winners of the contest were announced and honored by text4baby Director Sarah Ingersoll during the Martha May Eliot Awards Ceremony at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in Boston, MA on Nov. 4, 2013. Winning states received a certificate and a congratulatory letter from Dr. Michael Lu, Associate Administrator for Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
North Carolina partners, including NC DHHS, North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation, local health departments, and numerous other community-based organizations, won the contest by enrolling 4,882 new women from May to October. During the summer, NC DHHS and the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation collaborated to run text4baby television advertisements throughout the state on cable stations in major city markets. The ad can be viewed here. These advertisements, along with other promotional efforts resulted in thousands of women signing up for text4baby’s free health and safety messages.
NC Outreach Partners:
Alamance Partnership for Children (Burlington, NC)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (Durham, NC)
Cabarrus Partnership for Children (Concord, NC)
Carolinas Healthcare System (Charlotte, NC)
Carteret County Health Department (Morehead City, NC)
Columbus County Health Department (Whiteville, NC)
Durham Early Head Start (Durham, NC)
East Carolina University Adult and Pediatric Health Center (Greenville, NC)
Granville-Vance District Health Department (Oxford, NC)
Iredell Health System (Statesville, NC)
North Carolina Chapter of March of Dimes (Raleigh, NC)
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services*
North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation (Raleigh, NC)
Onslow County Health Department (Jacksonville, NC)
Park Ridge Health (Hendersonville, NC)
Pender County Health Department (Burgaw, NC)
Robeson County Partnership for Children (Lumberton, NC)
Rowan County Health Department (Salisbury, NC)
Smart Start of New Hanover County (Wilmington, NC)
Wake County Human Services (Raleigh, NC)
Wilkes County Health Department (Wilkesboro, NC)
* denotes state lead
For more information about text4baby, visit the website www.text4baby.org or contact Tonya Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. A free service of the nonprofit National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), implemented in partnership with Voxiva, the Founding Sponsor is Johnson & Johnson. Founding partners include The Wireless Foundation, and Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company). A special thanks goes to the carriers who support text4baby so the service can be free to the end users: Alltel, Assurance Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost Mobile, Cellcom, Cincinnati Bell, Cricket, MetroPCS, n-Telos, Nex-Tech Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, TracFone, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile U.S.A. Text4baby’s public-private partnership also includes over 1000 national, state and local organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.