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Text4baby Prenatal Care Challenge

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has launched the Text4baby Prenatal Care Challenge. This challenge aims to actively encourage the promotion of Text4baby, as a tool for women during pregnancy and the first year of the baby’s life, in 35 counties with the lowest prenatal care rates as identified by DSHS. The contest will run from January 26th to June 30th, and DSHS will track which counties yield the highest number of moms enrolled in the service.  In early June, individuals from organizations in the top ranking counties will be eligible to receive scholarships to the much anticipated Healthy Texas Babies – A Life Course Conference, which is scheduled to take place in Houston, TX on June 22nd thru the 24th. In July, the top-performing county from Jan. 26 through June 30, 2015 will be recognized with a press event. The press event will be an opportunity to highlight the outreach efforts of all the outreach partners in that county. A secondary prize for most innovative enrollment tactic from all the counties involved will also be awarded, whether or not from among the outreach partners in the winning county. Good luck to the participating counties! For questions, please contact Evelyn Coronado Interis, Women’s and Perinatal Health Coordinator, at evelyn.interis@dshs.state.tx.us.

Texas Community Survey

The Division for Family and Community Health at the Texas Department of State Health Services is currently conducting a statewide assessment of the health and safety of Texas mothers and children. This assessment will help guide our priorities of how to improve the health of Texas families for the next five years.  

Part of that assessment is this survey, which asks people about the perceived health needs and strengths in their community. We are seeking input from ANY Texas resident who is 18 years of age and older. Survey participation is voluntary and anonymous, and the survey should only take 10 minutes to complete. 

There are 2 links available:

English: http://tvneedseng.questionpro.com

Spanish: http://tvneesesp.questionpro.com 

Please share with everyone in your network. Our goal is to reach as many Texas residents as possible so we have a realistic picture of communities around the state. After all, community members can see the needs and strengths of their own community in a way that we cannot, and we want that local perspective. 

The survey will be open until August 30, 2014. If you have questions or need assistance with this survey, please contact MaternalHealth@dshs.state.tx.us

We appreciate your support, outreach, and input!

DSHS Leads Efforts to Reduce Health Disparities Through Preconception Peer Education

peer_eduInfant mortality is an issue that highlights the health disparities in our state. The Life Course Perspective, which is the guiding theory behind this initiative, posits that in order to overcome infant mortality, the protective factors affecting a woman’s reproductive life must be enhanced and the risk factors decreased. DSHS is taking a step towards enhancing those protective factors by focusing on college students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Texas.

DSHS has implemented the Office of Minority Health’s Preconception Peer Educator (PPE) program, a national program that has shown evidence of improving health outcomes for its participants. The two-day training is led by a planning committee comprising membership from DSHS, March of Dimes, Department of Family and Protective Services, the Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas and HHSC’s Center for the Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities. Students are trained to lead activities and trainings among their peers and in communities surrounding their campuses on preconception health, the importance of fathers, health disparities and reproductive life planning.

The first training took place September 21-22, 2012 at Prairie View A&M University and graduated 79 participants. Three of these students were involved in the planning and implementation of a second training at Wiley College in Marshall April 12-13, 2013 with 49 registered participants. DSHS is planning additional trainings for the 2013-2014 school year. If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact Aisling McGuckin at titleV@dshs.state.tx.us.

Valuable Tools and Resources Available at SomedayStartsNow.com


The campaign urges future moms and dads to get healthy now to improve their chances of having a healthy baby later. Healthy Texas Babies reaches out to women and men who may have a baby next year, five years from now or even later.tools The campaign urges future moms and dads to get healthy now to improve their chances of having a healthy baby later. Healthy Texas Babies reaches out to women and men who may have a baby next year, five years from now or even later.

The campaign urges future moms and dads to get healthy now to improve their chances of having a healthy baby later. Healthy Texas Babies reaches out to women and men who may have a baby next year, five years from now or even later.

The cornerstone of the campaign is SomedayStartsNow.com, available in Spanish at Algundiaempiezaahora.com. At SomedayStartsNow.com, stakeholders can find resources such as a Life Planning Tool and Birth Plan, posters for health and social service providers, patient worksheets and a media kit to promote your own infant mortality reduction efforts while showing your connection to the campaign.  . Other tools on the website include training videos for providers on breastfeeding, preconception counseling and partner involvement in the clinical encounter as well as links to resources to support them in their practice.


Texas Babies Deserve a Healthy Beginning

Texas Health Steps Online Provider Education announces a newly released training module, Reducing Non-Medically Necessary Deliveries Before 39 Weeks. The goal of this module is to educate texasbabieshealth-care providers and others who care for women of childbearing age about the new Texas Medicaid reimbursement criteria for delivery of infants at less than 39 weeks of gestation.

The module is designed to educate providers about collaborating with hospitals to create procedures to reduce pre-39 week non-medically indicated deliveries. It will increase provider comprehension of why the new Medicaid reimbursement criteria were implemented. It also guides providers to develop processes to determine and document the medical necessity of deliveries at less than 39 weeks. Providers will be able to recognize the clinical implications of non-medically necessary delivery by induction or cesarean at less than 39 weeks of gestation and more effectively educate their patients.

To view this new course and more than 40 more courses online, visit www.txhealthsteps.com. Courses are available online 24/7. All Online Provider Education courses are accredited for Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Nursing Education (CNE).

All courses accredited by the Texas Medical Association, American Nurses Credentialing Center, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, and the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiner. Select courses are accredited by the Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education, UTHSCSA Dental School Office of Continuing Dental Education, Texas Dietetic Association, Texas Academy of Audiology, and International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. Continuing Education for multiple disciplines will be provided for these events.


Text4baby Takes on Texas

text4babyText4baby is a free text messaging service for pregnant women and mothers of infants up to the age of one. Participants receive two to three text messages per week on their cell phones in English or Spanish until their child’s first birthday. Signing up is easy – participants simply text “BABY” for English messages or “BEBE” for Spanish messages to 511411.

The messages are informative about pregnancy and child development as well as emotionally supportive. Text4baby is made possible through a broad, public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, non-profit organizations, and others.

In June 2011, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) became the lead outreach partner for the Texas text4baby campaign. This means that organizations interested in becoming partners or that need help mobilizing their Text4baby campaign can contact DSHS for additional guidance by emailing TitleV@dshs.state.tx.us. DSHS encourages all organizations to become partners of text4baby and to begin promoting this important effort with their clients. For more information, visit www.text4baby.org.

Last updated August 20, 2021