UI Health launches ‘two-generation’ clinic for postpartum moms, families

UI Health’s new Two-Generation Clinic provides comprehensive care simultaneously for postpartum moms and their families. (Image: Joshua Clark/University of Illinois Chicago)

A multidisciplinary team of health care providers at the University of Illinois Chicago has launched a new clinic in which postpartum moms and their babies can receive comprehensive care simultaneously.

The clinic, which is called the UI Health Two-Generation Clinic, hopes to improve the health outcomes of moms, babies and the entire family by providing an opportunity for a postpartum mom to receive comprehensive care with her newborn.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 72% of deaths among recently pregnant women and 93% of violent pregnancy-associated deaths are preventable. Nationally, more than 90% of newborns receive routine care. However, women are much less likely to receive postpartum care, particularly those with low incomes.

“We need to improve care for postpartum women, especially vulnerable mothers at greatest risk for poor health outcomes,” said Dr. Rachel Caskey, UIC associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the College of Medicine and director of the clinic. “By offering wrap-around services and personalized medical care, we can better meet the needs of women and children in a single location.”

The clinic’s medical home model will provide comprehensive care to women, children and families. The clinic will provide postpartum care, preventive care, chronic disease management, psychiatric support and behavioral pediatrics. The model includes efforts to address social determinants of health that affect women’s ability to be healthy such as housing, food or employment insecurities. Additional services available in the clinic include lactation support, care coordination and social work support.

Rachel N. Caskey
Rachel Caskey

“We believe we can positively impact outcomes for women by improving access to postpartum depression care, management of chronic diseases and contraception.  We hope to mitigate health risks during the postpartum period and improve care throughout the life course,” Caskey said.

Caskey and her team will follow patients and track health outcomes over time. The intent, she said, is to see if this unique model is more effective at caring for women and their families than traditional care delivery models.

“We hope to show that this collaborative, comprehensive mother-child model improves outcomes,” Caskey said. “Simultaneously, we will study ways in which this model could be used in other healthcare settings across the country.”

The clinic is funded by an award from the Health Resources and Services Administration to Caskey and UIC’s Stacie Geller, the G. William Arends Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, professor of medicine at the College of Medicine, and director of the Center for Research on Women and Gender; and UIC’s Arden Handler, professor of community health sciences at the School of Public Health and director of the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health. The award, in addition to the clinic, funds a series of new statewide efforts to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Efforts include establishing a statewide maternal health task force and strategic plan to address multiple issues that affect maternal health and wellbeing.

More information about the clinic is available online.

Anyone interested in receiving care for themselves or their family at the UI Health Two-Generation Clinic can call 866-600-2273.

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