Editor's note: This release has been updated to reflect the nature of the investments.
LOS ANGELES and SAN DIEGO, Calif. (January 25, 2022) – First 5 LA, an independent public agency that supports the safe and healthy development of young children and their families in Los Angeles County, and For The Village, a nonprofit community organization that provides free doula services and education for families in the San Diego County area, have each received community investments totaling $520,000 from Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan.
First 5 LA received $420,000 from Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan for its Welcome Baby and Select Home Visiting programs, which help improve maternal and infant health outcomes in the diverse communities of Los Angeles.
For The Village received $100,000 from the nonprofit health plan to help improve maternal and infant health outcomes in the diverse communities of San Diego by offering culturally competent, inclusive, and responsive care.
“We know how important a healthy, happy start in life is for babies and their parents, and we believe the distinct services these programs offer will be especially helpful to the communities we serve in Los Angeles and San Diego,” said Kristen Cerf, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan.
First 5 LA
First 5 LA’s free, voluntary programs provide hospital and home-based interventions for pregnant and postpartum women and their families and helps connect them to the home visiting program that can best meet their needs. They include services such as prenatal and postpartum home-based visits, post-delivery hospital bedside support from trained professionals on important topics such as well-baby appointments and immunizations for the first nine months of a baby’s life and screening for maternal depression and anxiety.
New parents also have access to educational tools and community resources for basic health care, nutrition, breastfeeding, maternal depression, positive parenting and improving home safety.
“Home visitation programs provide early prevention and intervention services and have a proven record on delivering robust and positive outcomes for young children and families,” said Diana Careaga, director of Family Supports at First 5 LA.“Our innovative collaboration with Blue Shield Promise Health Plan will bring great benefits, not only to the health plan in supporting the wellness goals of its members, but to the families who are linked to these services.”
For The Village
At For The Village, the funds will be used to provide additional doula training so the agency can expand its service capacity, provide birth support and paternal education classes, purchase baby equipment and supplies for new parents and develop a post-partum support program.
Established in 2018, For The Village has a primary focus on serving marginalized groups such as people of color, low-income, and LGBTQIA families. To date, the nonprofit agency has trained more than 67 doulas and served more than 250 clients who reflect the cultures, races, and languages of the San Diego communities it serves. The nonprofit group was founded by Sabia Wade, executive director and a full-spectrum doula, after she moved to San Diego in 2017 and realized the need for affordable doula care and socially conscious education about pregnancy.
"As For The Village grows, demand for our services has been increasing, especially with the complications the pandemic has brought into the birth process,” Wade said. “This collaboration with Blue Shield Promise has given us the support to provide more care not only to our pregnant community members but also to our postpartum community members through our new-parent companion program. We are excited to see how we can continue to make an impact in our community with this collaboration.”
About First 5 LA
As the state's largest funder of early childhood, First 5 LA works to strengthen systems, parents and communities so that children are ready to succeed in school and life. An independent public agency, First 5 LA's goal is to support the safe and healthy development of young children so that by 2028, all children in L.A. County will enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life. Learn more at www.first5la.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About For The Village
For The Village is a reproductive justice organization founded in 2018 that provides free doula services to families in San Diego County, using the three principles: support, educate and empower. Created in response to the need for affordable doula care and socially conscious education, For the Village (FTV) exists to serve the San Diego County area while emphasizing people of color, LGBTQIA and low-income families.
About Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is a managed care organization, wholly owned by Blue Shield of California, offering Medi-Cal and Cal MediConnect. It is led by healthcare professionals with a “members-first” philosophy and committed to building a quality network of providers and partnering with community organizations for more than 400,000 members. For more information about Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, please visit www.blueshieldca.com/promise.