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NFTA program helps pregnant mothers get to the doctor's office

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Along with being one of the poorest cities in the nation, Buffalo has an 11.4 percent pre-term birth rate, the highest in New York State.  A program that works to help high-risk pregnancies, Go Buffalo Mom, has received a $468,000 federal grant to fund that effort.

Michael Weiner, President and CEO of United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, says the program matches individual transportation navigators with soon-to-be-moms to help find the best way to medical appointments.

"Moms also need access to pharmacy, grocery stores and other critical services in order to support a healthy delivery," Weiner said.

In announcing the federal grant, Rep. Brian Higgins said the aim is to provide a bridge between medical and social needs. He cited figures showing the first-year medical costs for pre-term babies are four times greater than a full-term baby.  

"The Go Buffalo Mom program will reduce barriers to care toward the goal to better outcomes for both mother and her child, saving money and improving lives."

Higgins says the program is a true collaborative effort that includes, transportation experts, healthcare organizations medical providers, universities, human service agencies and faith-based partners.