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Press Release April 14, 2015
HRSA Evaluation of Text4baby Finds Program Successes
Report Demonstrates Strong Engagement, Knowledge, and Partner Support
WASHINGTON, DC (April 14, 2015) – A new report produced for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) by Mathematica Policy Research and Public Health Institute finds that Text4baby subscribers areengaged with the program and would recommend it to others; subscribers are knowledgeable about critical maternal and child health topics;and the program has strong support from partners.
Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. Since its launch in 2010, more than 126 million health and safety messages have been sent to more than 860,000 pregnant women, new mothers, and others enrolled in the service. Women who text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 receive three free text messages a week, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date, through pregnancy and up until the baby’s first birthday. The messages address topics such as labor signs and symptoms, prenatal care, urgent alerts, developmental milestones, immunizations, nutrition, birth defect prevention, safe sleep, safety, and more.
The report evaluates the Text4baby program from its launch to late 2013 using data from national level stakeholder interviews, secondary data analyses and from information collected at four community health centers (CHCs) via a consumer survey, interviews, and consumer focus groups.
On four critical topics – safe sleep, infant feeding, best time to deliver in a healthy pregnancy, and the meaning of full-term – Text4baby subscribers demonstrated a significantly higher level of health knowledge than the comparison groups. Specifically the evaluation found that “eighty-one percent of women who signed up for Text4baby responded ‘correctly’ to at least three of the four knowledge items, versus 60 to 62 percent of other CHC prenatal care patients.” It also found that 99 percent of Text4baby subscribers surveyed say they would recommend Text4baby to a friend or family member.
The report also examines the public-private partnership supporting Text4baby, which has grown to more than 1,200 organizations across the country. Stakeholders felt this model “facilitated a faster implementation timeline.” Further, “federal government partners considered the public-private partnership model ‘unique,’ ‘a model for how we should increasingly be doing our work,’ and ‘absolutely critical to the success of the program.”
Text4baby’s potential as a valuable component of comprehensive prenatal care also stands out in the new findings. By integrating Text4baby with the delivery of other existing health programs, there is potential to expand access to health information and increase knowledge about critical maternal and child health topics.
“These findings add to the evidence that Text4baby offers real benefits to pregnant women and new moms, and is widely valued by maternal and child health professionals,” said Janice Frey-Angel, CEO, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.
“This evaluation points to the critical role Text4baby can play in supporting pregnant women with key information and support, and the important opportunity to incorporate it more fully into the nation’s health delivery system,” said Voxiva Chairman Paul Meyer.
“We were proud to work with the participating carriers to make text messages free since today’s report findings prove what we knew anecdotally on the efficacy of this ground-breaking mobile health service,” said Athena Polydorou, Executive Director of The Wireless Foundation.
Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. Text4baby is provided through a public-private partnership of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, Voxiva, The Wireless Foundation and over 1,200 national, state and local health organizations including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The service is completely free for the more than 850,000 mothers who have enrolled thanks to the generous support of America’s leading wireless carriers. To learn more, please visit www.text4baby.org.
Press Release January 21, 2015
Too Small to Fail, Text4baby and Sesame Street Launch First National Text-to-Parents Program to Support Young Children's Early Language Development
New York, NY — Too Small to Fail and Sesame Street launched today a new text-to-parents program in partnership with the free mobile health information service, Text4baby, to distribute research-based tips to new parents about the importance of talking, reading and singing with their newborn children. The service will reach Text4baby’s network of subscribers that has reached more than 820,000 parents nationwide at no charge to participants.
This new text-to-parents program of 'Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing’ is the first national partnership to use texting to deliver tips on early language development to parents of infants. Research-based tips developed by Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, will provide parents with specific ways they can promote their infants’ early language development and support Sesame’s mission to help all kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Each early language development tip sent out through Text4baby will also be paired with a link to an engaging and relevant video, also produced by Sesame Workshop. These videos, featuring real parents and children, as well as the Sesame Street Muppets, will model for parents how to engage in the specific behaviors promoted through the tips.
From meal time to bath time to bed time, text messages will span a wide range of topics aimed at helping parents find fun and meaningful ways to incorporate talking, reading and singing to their babies into their everyday moments and routines. For additional parenting resources, visit www.talkingisteaching.org and www.sesamestreet.org/talking.
Originally announced at Clinton Global Initiative America, this partnership builds off the latest research about the power and potential of providing parents with key information to promote early literacy development through text messaging. Recent research has found that communicating with parents through mobile text can be a highly effective strategy for producing positive learning outcomes for children. A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that San Francisco preschoolers whose parents received text messages with highly-specific tips on reading to their children or helping them sound out letters and words performed better on literacy tests than children whose parents did not receive such messages.
Beginning today, parents who have signed up for the Text4baby service will receive early language development messages beginning from their baby’s 9th week of development, and every other week thereafter until their baby turns one. The text-based tips will be made available in both English and Spanish. Too Small to Fail will also work with community partners and pediatricians in Tulsa, OK and Oakland, CA, as well as in other cities across the country, to encourage parents of infants to sign up for the service.
New parents can sign up for this service by texting BABY (or BEBE in Spanish) to 511411. To access even more early learning tips and information, visit www.talkingisteaching.org.
The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
About Too Small to Fail
Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Next Generation, aims to help parents, communities and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five, so that more of America’s children are prepared to succeed in the 21st century.
In 2014, Too Small to Fail is focused on closing the “word gap.” Studies have found that by age four, children in middle and upper income families hear 30 million more words than their lower income peers. This disparity in hearing words from parents and caregivers translates directly into a disparity in learning words. And that puts our children born with the fewest advantages even further behind. Among those born in 2001, only 48 percent of poor children started school ready to learn, compared to 75 percent of children from middle-income families.
The “word gap” is a significant but solvable challenge. Too Small to Fail is about parents, caregivers, other concerned individuals, and the private sector coming together to take small, research-based actions with big impacts.
Learn more at www.toosmall.org and on Twitter @2SmalltoFail.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help all children reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, including television programs, digital experiences, books and community engagement, its research-based programs are tailored to the needs of the communities and countries they serve, helping children everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org.
Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. Text4baby is provided through a public-private partnership of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), Voxiva, The Wireless Foundation and over 1,200 national, state and local health organizations including the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The service is completely free for the more than 800,000 mothers who have enrolled thanks to the generous support of America’s leading wireless carriers. To learn more, please visit www.text4baby.org.
About The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, 26,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; 21,000 farmers in Malawi have improved their incomes by more than 500 percent; 248 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced in cities worldwide; more than 5,000 people have been trained in marketable job skills in Colombia; more than 8.2 million people have benefited from lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications; $100 million in strategic investments have been made, impacting the health of 50 million people in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative have made nearly 3,100 Commitments to Action to improve more than 430 million lives around the world. Learn more at www.clintonfoundation.org, and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.
About Next Generation
Next Generation promotes solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans: The risk of dangerous climate change, and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. Through the use of non-partisan research, policy development, and strategic communications, we identify strategies that help deploy clean, advanced energy technologies; we also work to ensure a level playing field from which today’s kids can build a brighter future.
Learn more at www.thenextgeneration.org, and on Twitter @nextgen_USA.
Press Release November 17, 2014
New York, Oklahoma and Delaware Link the Most Women to Critical Health and Safety Information
Text4baby announces winners of the 2014 State Enrollment Contest
at nation’s largest public health meeting
WASHINGTON (November 17, 2014) – New York, Oklahoma and Delaware are the winners of the 4th Annual Text4baby State Enrollment Contest, a competition to encourage promotion of Text4baby, the nation’s largest and only free mobile health service. This national contest is an excellent opportunity for states to exhibit friendly competition in the race to connect more pregnant women and new moms to Text4baby’s critical health and safety information. This year, the contest highlighted a different promotional theme each month to help partners implement successful strategies for engaging women locally. The winning states implemented outreach campaigns that included advertising, media, social media and connecting Text4baby to other health resources and partners.
Winners were determined based on new participants who enrolled in the service during the contest period as a percentage of eligible moms. States/territories were separated into three categories – large, medium and small - based on their estimated number of new pregnancies and new infants. Throughout the contest, Text4baby partners regularly monitored their progress by accessing subscriber enrollment data by zip code through the Text4baby website.
The winners of the Contest were announced and honored during the Martha May Eliot Luncheon at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. The winning state representatives received a certificate and congratulatory comments from Janine Lewis, Board Chair for the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, and Executive Director of EverThrive Illinois.
The winning states are:
Large State Category: New York
More than 50 partners in New York joined together to promote Text4baby through a variety of efforts including a state wide marketing campaign and targeted outreach through health plans and community efforts. The New York State Department of Health customized Text4baby for New York participants, providing the added benefit of offering local resources in their text messages. The State Department also launched a broad-reaching marketing campaign which included subway and bus advertisements, targeted Facebook ads and other web promotion. These efforts helped the state reach 7,004 moms, 16% higher than the 25 week period prior to the contest. Read the full case study here.
Medium State Category: Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s path to victory included incorporating Text4baby into existing health processes and increasing media and other outreach efforts across the state. Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), the state’s Medicaid agency, began promoting Text4baby as an available benefit for eligible members. The success of this initiative has led OHCA to discuss additional ways to connect women to Text4baby through other agency resources. OHCA and the Oklahoma State Health Department (OSDH) also spearheaded media and outreach strategies which included television public service announcements; a Text4baby advertisement in a local bridal magazine; a Text4baby bus bench advertisement in Oklahoma City; and inclusion of Text4baby on pharmacy bags. These efforts helped connect 7,586 new moms to Text4baby in Oklahoma, making Oklahoma's enrollment 321% higher during the contest compared to the 25 week period before the contest began. Read the full case study here.
Small State Category: Delaware
Delaware led the small states throughout the contest as a result of targeted promotional strategies and strong outreach efforts through health plans. The University of Delaware, Center for Disabilities Studies also reached out to fathers and launched a challenge to encourage dads to register for the service. Child, Inc. incorporated Text4baby materials and education into their statewide parenting classes, and Birth to Three promoted Text4baby at all of their events in the state. Additionally, Delaware Physicians Care (DPC), started participating in Connect4health, a free text-messaging program to help families’ adopt healthy behaviors and receive preventive care. Text4baby is one of the resources offered, and it helped educate more mothers about the service in connection with other mobile health resources. During the contest period, a total of 839 new users enrolled in the Text4baby service in Delaware, which is 52% higher during the contest compared to the same 25 week time period before the contest began. Read the full case study here.
The 2014 Text4baby State Enrollment Contest was supported by:
· American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
· American Public Health Association (APHA)
· Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP)
· Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
· Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
· National WIC Association (NWA)
· Southern Governors’ Association (SGA)
· The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
· Ventanillas de Salud
Press Release August 7, 2014
CSUSM Researchers Conduct National Survey Demonstrating Positive Impact of Text4baby Service
San Marcos – A new national report released by California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) researchers Konane Martinez, Ph.D. and Shinya Uekusa, M.A. demonstrates the positive impact of a mobile messaging service for expectant and new moms. Text4baby, a free text message-based health program, provides prenatal and first-year health and safety information to its more than 740,000 subscribers nationwide.
The national survey evaluated by Martinez and Uekusa revealed high satisfaction among participants. They noted that users of Text4baby self-reported that the free mobile text service provided useful health information, helped initiate conversations with their care providers, reminded them of important appointments and immunizations, and helped provide access to and awareness of health services and resources.
Subscribers of Text4baby receive three personalized text messages per week timed to their baby’s due date or birthday. The messages cover a broad range of topics including labor signs and symptoms, prenatal care, nutrition, baby’s development, breastfeeding, oral health, urgent health alerts and product recalls, safety and more. Text4baby also includes interactive appointment and immunization reminders, educational videos and mobile web pages, and links to health insurance information and health-related services.
“Pregnancy and childbirth can be both an exciting time as well as one filled with a lot of questions and uncertainties,” said Martinez, associate professor of medical anthropology at CSUSM. “The results of the survey indicate not only high satisfaction with Text4baby, but that the service is reaching expectant and new mothers most in need for information and access to services. The results of the survey are encouraging; participants in the Text4baby service state that they are utilizing the information and resources provided by the service in a positive way.”
Survey results also indicate that Text4baby is successfully reaching and serving uninsured participants and those with lower educational attainment. Overall, 47 percent of national survey participants reported Text4baby helped connect them to health services for them and/or their baby, with a higher percentage of uninsured participants (60 percent) reporting that Text4baby helped them access health services. Nearly half of survey respondents reported that their annual household income was $16,000 or less.
“Findings from the survey help demonstrate the positive impact of Text4baby and the potential impact of mobile health interventions more broadly,” added Martinez.
Insights from the survey include:
- 85.1 percent reported that Text4baby messages informed them of medical warning signs they did not know.
- 63.1 percent reported that Text4baby helped them remember an appointment, and 75.4 percent reported that the service helped them remember an immunization that they or their child needed.
- 45.6 percent reported that they called a service or phone number that they received from a Text4baby message.
- 95.3 percent reported that Text4baby messages informed them of health information that they did not know.
- 65.4 percent reported talking to their doctor about a topic that they read on a Text4baby message.
- 47.2 percent reported that Text4baby helped connect them to health services.
- 91.2 percent reported that Text4baby helped them make healthy choices.
The data was collected by a telephone survey, sampling 1,171 Text4baby participants who had been enrolled in the service for at least one month. Text4baby was developed in partnership with founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson and founding partners Voxiva, The Wireless Foundation and Grey Healthcare Group.
For more information on Text4baby, visit www.text4baby.org. To subscribe, text BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411.
View the full report: National Survey of Text4baby Participants
About California State University San Marcos
California State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding in 1989, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that our annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. Eighty-five percent of CSUSM’s alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is 15 miles east of the ocean; just 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.
The Anthropology Department at CSUSM is an applied, collaborative and interdisciplinary academic unit that engages students directly with the interests and efforts of local communities.
Press Release August 3, 2014
The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) Expanding Text4baby’s Focus on Health Care Access and Information
WASHINGTON D.C. – Text4baby, the nation’s largest and only free mobile health service that makes it easy for expecting and new moms to receive important health and safety information, has expanded its ability to share health care information and enrollment access. The program is committed to connecting pregnant women, mothers, and families to information about health care information and enrollment through SMS messaging. In seven states— California, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, and Texas—Text4baby will work with key leaders to connect women to Text4baby and evaluate the reach of enrolling families into the service and their subsequent access to health care coverage.
This expanded emphasis comes at an opportune time, as Affordable Care Act (ACA) advocacy organizations are focused on improving health reform implementation and disseminating benefits information. A two-year project supported through The Atlantic Philanthropies—a limited life foundation dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people—will strengthen Text4baby’s health coverage efforts in the above seven states by sharing advocacy group’s work with healthcare professionals and directly with Text4baby participants to help them stay apprised of new state-based health information and activities.
The project also expands upon Text4baby’s valuable partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In August 2013, CMS awarded a contract to support the implementation of a customized version of Text4baby in California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Ohio in collaboration with these state’s Medicaid agencies. Under this three-year project, Text4baby partners deployed a customized version of Text4baby, which includes information about services and benefits, and Medicaid-specific resources available in the state.
“Atlantic’s support allows Text4baby to expand its reach to those families who need information the most and provides an opportunity to expand access to critical health access and care using this ubiquitous channel,” said HMHB CEO, Janice Frey-Angel.
Women who sign up for Text4baby by texting BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 receive three personalized text messages per week timed to their due date or baby’s birthday. The messages cover a broad range of topics including prenatal care, labor signs and symptoms, nutrition and breastfeeding, baby’s development, oral health, safety, urgent health alerts and product recalls, and more. Text4baby also includes interactive appointment and immunization reminders, educational videos and mobile webpages, and links to health insurance information and health-related services.
Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. A free service of the nonprofit National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) and Founding Sponsor Johnson & Johnson, founding partners include Voxiva, The Wireless Foundation and Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company). Text4baby’s public-private partnership also includes over 1,200 national, state and local organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A special thank you goes to the carriers who support Text4baby so the service can be free to the end users. Those carriers are: AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile U.S.A. To learn more, please visit www.text4baby.org.
About The Atlantic Philanthropies
The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic is a limited life foundation that will complete grantmaking in 2016. To learn more, please visit: www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.
PRESS RELEASE JUNE 24, 2014
Business, Medical, and Non-Profit Partners Launch New National Effort at CGI America to Help Close the Word Gap
American Academy of Pediatrics, Reach Out and Read, and Scholastic Inc. working with Too Small to Fail to equip parents with tools to promote early literacy and vocabulary development
PRESS RELEASE May 11, 2014
States Commit to Make it Easy for New and Expenting Moms to Get Important Health and Safety Information
Text4baby celebrates the kickoff of the Fourth Annual State Enrollment Contest to Improve Maternal and Infant Health One Text at a Time
WASHINGTON (May 11, 2014) – Since launch in 2010, Text4baby has reached more than 707,000 women with the support of over 1,150 federal, state, local and corporate partners who extend the Text4baby message through their own outreach programs nationwide. The State Enrollment Contest is an excellent opportunity for each state to exhibit friendly competition in the race to connect more moms to Text4baby’s critical health and safety information.
During previous contest periods,Text4baby’s Annual State Enrollment Competitionhas helped to connect over 260,000 pregnant and new moms to the service. In an effort to help women stay healthy during pregnancy and give their babies a strong start, the contest has encouraged local marketing, media and other outreach to mothers.
This year, the contest will highlight a different promotional theme each month to help partners implement successful strategies to engage women locally. Text4baby will also announce during the contest period an innovative new resource for moms designed to enhance the Text4baby experience.
The top states that enroll the highest percentage of pregnant women and mothers in Text4baby between May 11 and November 1, 2014 will be announced and recognized publicly at the Martha May Eliot Luncheon at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Conference in mid-November. States across the country are kicking off their contest activities with events featuring public officials, healthcare workers and families who have benefited from Text4baby.
The State Enrollment Contest is another way that Text4baby demonstrates the importance of connecting mothers to health resources. With a high infant mortality rate and not enough moms receiving proper care, too many babies in the U.S. are dying or are not given a healthy beginning. Text4baby helps address this issue. Women who text "BABY" (or “BEBE” for Spanish) to 511411 receive three free text messages a week, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date, through pregnancy and up until the baby’s first birthday. Independent research demonstrates that Text4baby increases women’s health knowledge, facilitates interaction with doctors, and improves appointment and immunization adherence, and mothers who use Text4baby are three times more likely to feel prepared for motherhood than non-Text4baby mothers.
“Helping mothers deliver and raise healthy babies is my mission, along with thousands of partners nationwide,” said Janice Frey-Angel, CEO of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. “Through the contest, we hope all are empowered and excited to use the given tools to help women connect to Text4baby.”
National organizations that are supporting the 2014 State Enrollment Contest include:
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
- American Public Health Association (APHA)
- Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP)
- Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
- Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
- National WIC Association (NWA)
- Southern Governors’ Association (SGA)
- The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
- Ventanillas de Salud
These organizations will be promoting the contest to their extensive memberships. For more information, visit www.text4baby.org.
Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. A free service of the nonprofit National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), the Founding Sponsor is Johnson & Johnson. Founding partners include Voxiva, The Wireless Foundation, and Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company). Text4baby’s public-private partnership also includes over 1,150national, state and local organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A special thank you goes to the carriers who support Text4baby so the service can be free to the end users. Those carriers are: AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, TracFone, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile U.S.A. To learn more, please visit www.text4baby.org.
PRESS RELEASE February 25, 2014
PRESS RELEASE February 11, 2014
For the last 4 years Text4baby has shared critical health and safety information to over 675,000 expecting and new moms!