Government Partner: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has played an integral role in the text4baby program from the beginning of the program and has remained a key partner since the February 2010 launch. HHS contributed significantly to the content development process for the text4baby messages, assisting with identifying scientifically accurate content and reviewing the messages to ensure that they are accurate and appropriate for the audience. HHS provided some of its pregnancy and child health resources to specific messages (e.g., 800 numbers and web sites) that provide additional assistance to women and families if needed (WIC, prenatal care…). HHS has also helped in spreading the word about text4baby, with support coming from multiple agencies and offices within HHS, including:


Play HHS Video

Watch HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speak about text4baby’s value

  • HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH)
  • HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH)
  • HHS Office of Minority Health  (OMH)
  • HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (CFBNP)
  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
  • The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Programs within these agencies have distributed information about the initiative through a range of activities, from incorporating text4baby into existing websites and e-newsletters to providing free promotional materials to state and local grantees and agencies to help them share the information with the moms they serve. HHS is also funding a 2-year national evaluation of text4baby.  The goal of the evaluation is to examine the characteristics of women who utilize the text4baby mobile phone-based program, assess their experience with the program, and determine whether text4baby is associated with timely access to prenatal care and healthy behaviors during pregnancy and through the first year of the infant’s life.

Text4baby Wins HHSinnovates Award

In August, 2010 HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius named text4baby as one of three winners of HHS’ new HHSinnovates award, designed to identify and celebrate programs involving collaboration across HHS and with organizations outside of the department.  Following the HHSinnovates award, HHS formed the Text4health Task Force in which one of its objectives, according to HHS Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, “is to figure out how to take U.S. Government promotion of text4baby to the next level to get to that totally achievable goal of 1 million moms by 2012. HHS ongoing commitment to the text4baby program has been instrumental in helping to reach pregnant women and new moms with this innovative service.

Check out the full video of Todd Park’s comments during the 2010 mHealth Summit in DC here!

Photo Caption: From left: Paul Stange, Policy Advisor, CDC, Wanda Jones, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Women's Health) & Director of OWH, and Judith Meehan, HMHB Chief Executive Officer during HHSinnovates award ceremony, August, 2010.

CDC Video E-Card

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently posted this customizable, video e-card to their website. By completing the form, users can send a text4baby video card to pregnant women and new moms to let them know about the service.  Check out the e-card and send it to your networks today.