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New grant to support expectant moms with transportation

The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County announced Tuesday that Univera Healthcare has awarded the nonprofit nearly $50,000 to support GO Buffalo Mom.

Grant money will be spread over three years in support of the program, which helps ensure pregnant mothers access prenatal care on a consistent basis. The grant will be used for a part-time position that will evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

GO Buffalo Mom matches soon-to-be mothers with transportation navigators who help develop the least-expensive, most-reliable and shortest public transportation routes to health care appointments.

The program also provides financial education and savings programs to help pregnant moms manage their expenses.

Nearly 30 percent of expectant moms in Buffalo do not access prenatal care in their first trimester. Women with no prenatal care are 5½ times more likely to deliver babies prematurely, which raises the risk of health challenges.

The Univera grant will directly support expectant mothers in need by providing them with prepaid monthly transit passes to get to and from their prenatal appointments. Mothers in the program also will meet with a trained navigator to help them plan the best routes to health care providers as well as a pharmacy and grocery store.

"We are pleased to support the United Way's Go Buffalo Mom initiative to help expectant mothers prepare a transportation plan for their prenatal appointments and the birth of their child," said Art Wingerter, president of Univera Healthcare.

“In order for our community to continue to grow and prosper we must nurture those who will be around for years to come. GO Buffalo Mom is a perfect example of an initiative that fulfills this mission," said Michael Weiner, president and CEO of United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. "We are grateful to Univera Healthcare for believing in this program and enabling us to continue to do the work needed to create healthier families throughout Buffalo and Erie County.”

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