INDIANAPOLIS — CareSource, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan, announced a joint program recently with Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s Nurse-Family Partnership, a community health program that assists low-income, pregnant mothers by arranging home visits from registered nurses.

CareSource has provided funding for the organization to hire a specially trained nurse to work with CareSource members enrolled in the program.

“This partnership is so important to CareSource, as we are confident our members enrolled in the Nurse-Family Partnership program will experience improved short- and long-term outcomes for mothers and their children,” said Steve Smitherman, Indiana CareSource president. “It is a high priority for CareSource to assist in supporting the Governor’s initiative to reduce Indiana’s high infant mortality rate. Through this program, we hope to provide our members with the care they need to deliver healthy babies and create better futures for themselves and their children.”

The new partnership seeks to assist first-time mothers with their pregnancy by providing CareSource members with a free, personal nurse that regularly visits, starting early in the pregnancy and continuing through the child’s second birthday. Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership has experienced proven results in improving health outcomes such as higher birth rates, improved birth weights, better maternal mental health and more. Within the 2020 cohort of Nurse-Family Partnership graduates, 89 percent of infants born within the program were born at a normal birth weight, and 95 percent were born full term. Additionally, 93 percent of 2020 graduates initiated breastfeeding for their baby.

“CareSource’s support for our program will make a tremendous impact on our ability to serve mothers and their children in a personalized way,” said Lynn Baldwin, Director of Operations at Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership. “Together, we can support the Indiana State Department of Health’s My Healthy Baby campaign to reduce infant death, provide prenatal care and teach parents about and encourage smoking cessation, breastfeeding and safe sleep.”

Indiana’s infant mortality rates are historically high compared to the rest of the U.S. In 2017, Indiana experienced the seventh highest infant mortality rate in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, a report by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) revealed that if Indiana had the same infant mortality rate as the U.S, 125 more babies would have survived in 2017.

The program is currently available to pregnant CareSource members in Indiana. For more information on Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership, visit goodwillindy.org/nfp.