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Aug 5, 2009

President Obama's proposed budget for FY10 Federal Doula Appropriation Request

Doula Advocacy Update

FY10 Federal Doula Appropriation Request

President Obama's proposed budget for FY10 includes $1.504 million for the community-based doula program. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) is requesting that the House Committee on Appropriation increase this funding to $3 million.

An increase in funding would allow for an additional 6 sites to be funded with grants. We need support in the House for increased funding, so contact your Representative today!

Health Reform
HealthConnect One is working with Senator Durbin's (D-IL) staff on community-based doula language to include in the Affordable Health Choices Act, sponsored by Senator Kennedy (D-MA). In particular, pages 540-545, Sec. 443: Grants to Promote the Community Health Workforce, provide an opportunity to address maternal and child health promotion. Our suggested additions include language on community-based doulas, breastfeeding peer counselors, and a focus on the critical months of pregnancy, birth and the immediate post-partum period. Click here to see our language for this bill.

In addition to working on the Affordable Health Choices Act, HC One is tracking three additional bills:

Early Support for Families Act, HR 2667
This bill intends to improve the well-being and development of children by enabling the establishment and expansion of quality programs providing voluntary home visitation for families with young children and families expecting children.

Education Begins at Home, S. 244
This bill will expand those programs of early childhood home visitation that increase school readiness, child abuse & neglect prevention, and early identification of developmental and health delays. The Act states that the home is the "first and most important learning environment for children"; "parents are their children's first and most influential teachers," and therefore parent education and family support will greatly benefit children's development. Parents "deserve and can benefit from" research-based information, enrichment opportunities and the prospect of connecting with their communities and the childrens' school.

Evidence-Based Home Visitation Act of 2009, S. 1267
This bill intends to improve the well-being and development of children by enabling the establishment and expansion of quality programs providing voluntary home visitation services to low-income pregnant women and low-income families with young children. The goal is to help break the cycle of poverty and improve the well-being of low-income children and their families. The striking difference from previous legislation is that this bill requires programs meet specific scientific standards to be established by the Centers for Disease Control.

As we continue to advocate for the inclusion of the community-based doula program in federal legislation, we encourage you to inform us of your activities and/or ideas. Please contact Advocacy Consultant Laura McAlpine with questions, comments, or suggestions:

Funding Updates

Doula Funding Guide
In an effort to track funds from the Stimulus Package and the pending FY10 federal budget, we have created a spreadsheet of federal funding sources that may be applicable to community-based doula programs. The guide is organized by the federal department that is overseeing the funding, and links to the full description and RFPs (as applicable) for each funding stream are provided for your convenience. We encourage you to download the document.

If you have any questions regarding the Doula Funding Guide, please contact Mairita Smiltars at

Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA)
Community-based Doula programs NOW eligible to apply for the CHIPRA outreach funds

- Applications due August 6, 2009

This act, signed into law by President Obama on February 4, 2009, includes $80 Million over 5 years for Outreach and Enrollment activities related to the state children's health insurance programs. Community-based doula programs and Community Health Worker programs were specifically named in the legislation as entities that are eligible to apply for outreach and enrollment monies through the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Early Head Start
The US Dept of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is soliciting applications from public or private non-profit organizations, including faith-based organizations, that wish to compete for $619 million in funds that are available to provide Early Head Start services to pregnant women, infants and toddlers and their families. The purpose of these grants is to expand enrollment of those served in Early Head Start by approximately 55,000. This grant opportunity is being made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Applications are due by July 7, 2009. For more information, please click here.

Strengthening Communities Fund
The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families announced the availability of capacity-building grants for nonprofit organizations. Through the Strengthening Communities Fund, HHS will make awards of up to $1 million for two years to lead organizations to provide technical assistance and training to support other nonprofit organizations. Grantees must provide at least 20 percent of the total approved cost of the project from non-federal funds. This grant opportunity is being made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Applications are due by July 7, 2009. Click here to read a press release and click here for application information.

Doula Advocacy Success
"In Chicago, we have seen how the community-doula model can improve the odds for those young moms and their babies. The Chicago Health Connection [now HealthConnect One] pioneered this model. The group trained mentors from the community to work with at-risk moms, many of whom had few ideas of where else to turn. I am eager to see the Chicago Health Connection model successfully replicated and to make that happen, it is important that new programs have guidance and help to not reinvent the wheel."

- Senator Durbin, October 23, 2007. Senate Colloquy- Congressional Record.

Federal Funding Established for Community-Based Doula Programs
The very first federal funding stream dedicated to community-based doula programs was established on December 26, 2007, when President Bush signed the 2008 omnibus appropriations bill in to law. This funding stream was established after years of tireless advocacy by HC One's National Doula Advocacy Network. HC One would also like to extend sincere thanks to Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) for their support of community-based doula programs, and to President Barack Obama, who demonstrated his support of the community-based doula model during his time as the junior Senator of Illinois.

HealthConnect One awarded HRSA Grant
Doula programs were able to apply for the $1.536 million of federal money via a competitive grants process through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

HRSA awarded HealthConnect One a 2-year grant to provide training, technical assistance, and cross-sited evaluation to a cohort of six HRSA-funded community-based doula programs across the country.

All six grantees and HC One received a second year of funding through September 30, 2010.

Doula Advocacy Continues
HealthConnect One is committed to advocating for the maintenance and expansion of federal funding for community-based doula programs through our National Doula Advocacy Network. The policy world is constantly changing, so check this site frequently for updates and action items.

See Also:
Doula Advocacy Resources
Community-Based Doula Leadership Institute
Community-Based Doula Program Overview
Community-Based Doula Program Replication

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