The Department of Health (DOH) is submitting an application to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for funding in the amount of $141,920 for each year of a five-year cooperative agreement to conduct the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) in Florida. The Florida Department of Health and its state and local partners continue to value and use data collected by PRAMS to develop and evaluate policy to affect change in supporting services to the women surveyed. Youjie Huang, MD, DrPH, State Chronic Disease Epidemiologist will serve as the Principal Investigator and will continue to provide scientific and technical leadership and direction throughout this current grant funding period. Florida is the fourth most populous state with 18.8 million residents living within 67 counties. The state is ethnically and racially diverse. The race/ethnic composition of Florida is approximately 80% White and 16% Black with 21% of the total population of Hispanic origin. It ranks fourth nationally in annual live births with 22% of Florida's total population less than 18 years of age and 27% between the ages 18 and 39. The overall goals of the program are: (1) To collect population-based data of high scientific quality on topics relating to pregnancy and early infancy;(2) To conduct data analyses in order to increase understanding of maternal behaviors and experiences during pregnancy and early infancy, and their relationship to health outcomes;(3) To translate results from analyses into useable information for planning and evaluation of public health programs and policy;(4) To build state capacity. To address the four overarching goals of the project, Florida will conduct activities to improve its overall annual weighted response rate by 2% each year. Previous analyses have shown that more than half of live births in Florida are to mothers receiving Medicaid access. Florida PRAMS will continue to gain additional access to the state's Medicaid system as a search engine to gather up-to-date contact information to ensure increased delivery of the mail survey instrument to the selected mothers. In addition, the Florida PRAMS will continue to test incentives that increase the completion of the surveys and implement those found successful. Finally, Florida PRAMS will continue to engage and collaborate with state and local partners and data users to address state-specific needs.
Florida's maternal and child health data needs and priorities are extensive, and many can only be met through the utilization of PRAMS data. Florida has been collecting data since 1993, and has the capacity and expertise to continue state surveillance and research.