Connect RX Advances Maternal Health

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ConnectRX Wisconsin is a community program that addresses healthcare disparities in Black pregnant people. The program was started as a direct response to lower birth weights and higher infant mortality rates of Black infants in Dane County.

The program was founded in March 2022 by several healthcare organizations, including UnityPoint Health – Meriter, under the Dane County Health Council. The county-wide team of healthcare workers collaborate to support patients who identify as Black, have a positive pregnancy test and screen as high-risk in at least one of the following social determinants of health (SDOH):

  1. Housing
  2. Food Insecurity
  3. Transporation
  4. Stress
  5. Overall Finances

Every pregnant person who steps into UnityPoint Health-Meriter and UW Health clinics is screened for these SDOH. While all social determinants of health play an important role in maternal health, food and housing are especially critical. If a pregnant person is determined to be high-risk in any of the five SDOH domains, a social worker will discuss how ConnectRX can best address inequities and connect them with a community health worker (CHW). CHWs are community workers who connect patients to needed resources within their communities, health care systems, and state health departments (CDC). In Dane County, they can connect patients to housing resources, food pantries, childcare and more.

Patients remain involved with the UnityPoint Health – Meriter team, being served through our Center for Perinatal Care and ultimately giving birth in our Birthing Center. Additionally, Meriter social workers continue to connect pregnant persons with other community resources. All patients have a choice to participate in this program through one year post-delivery.

UnityPoint Health – Meriter’s primary concern continues to be the health of our community. Our partnership with ConnectRX allows us to proactively assess the needs of patients and provide support before, during and after birth to improve health outcomes.

To learn more about ConnectRX, ask your perinatal physician or contact:

About the Dane County Health Council

The Dane County Health Council is a collaboration between Madison’s health systems, MMSD, United Way and Public Health Madison & Dane County on a mission to eliminate barriers to optimal health and reduce disparities in health outcomes. For over 20 years, the DCHC’s priority has been maternal and child health, effectively establishing primary care, connecting pregnant people with community resources and providing behavioral health support to youth