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Partnership with ConnectRx Wisconsin aids moms and babies


October 30, 2023

ConnectRx Wisconsin is a program that provides support to African-American / Black high-risk moms during pregnancy and up to one year after the birth of their child.

Community health workers at ConnectRx Wisconsin have their work cut out for them. Babies born to Black mothers in Dane County are two times more likely to be born at low birth weight, often leading to significant health challenges and higher mortality rates.

Thanks to you, community health workers at ConnectRx Wisconsin have an important ally in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison. You are saving lives and improving long term health for our fragile neighbors.

Addressing non-medical needs to improve overall health

ConnectRx Wisconsin was designed to address social determinants of health like transportation, housing and food insecurity for specifically Black moms and provide them with support so they and their babies can thrive. Staff show up wherever their patients needs them to be. They’ll attend housing hearings, write letters of recommendation, loan out technology so clients can apply for jobs, or pick up food and personal care items for patients; a combination of advocacy and education.

These community health workers can rely on St. Vincent de Paul — Madison as full-service partners to fulfill requests for clothing, furniture and food. Some community health workers at ConnectRx Wisconsin pick up eight to ten orders of food from our food pantry for their patients each week. Pantry2Home (online food ordering system) is an especially meaningful service as it saves time and gives patients the flexibility to choose their own food. The pantry and particularly Pantry2Home have been positive “gamechangers” for patients.

Continued benefits of online ordering

You are making a difference today that will last generations.

  • For moms like Nora* all she needed was to bridge the gap between maternity leave and full-time work. While she only received 33% of her income on maternity leave, she still received 100% of her bills. For her, saving money on food and personal care items by using the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry meant she could pay her rent and keep her home cool this past summer with her newborn.
  • Selene* only needs help with food every so often, about once a month, and calls one of ConnectRx Wisconsin’s community health care workers when she’s low on items. Staff place Selene’s order through Pantry2Home, pick it up and delivers it to her. Selene doesn’t have to worry about traveling across town with her newborn or squeezing in a visit to the pantry during her lunch break.
  • Tahira* speaks only Swahili. In her culture, it’s unusual to ask for help, so community health workers are proactive about clarifying what she needs when she reaches out. Through their relationship, community health workers have learned that Tahira’s older kids don’t like canned goods, so they focus on ordering fresh produce, meat, diapers, wipes and household items.

Nutritious food is essential for maternal and infant health. For moms on limited incomes, it’s difficult to afford high quality produce, meat and pantry staples. Transportation and a lack of money are two of the biggest hurdles patients face.

Access to quality food is especially challenging when moms don’t have reliable transportation, and it’s difficult to travel by public transportation with small children. Pantry2Home saves time for neighbors in need, eliminates food waste, and meets any dietary restrictions or cultural preferences.

Being able to come to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and drive up to a special spot to get the online orders has saved a lot of time for ConnectRx Wisconsin staff. Since the pantry also provides diapers, wipes and some household items, it becomes a helpful one-stop-shop.

In 18 months, ConnectRx Wisconsin has welcomed 137 babies into the world and celebrated 25 first birthdays. You have helped make this happen.

You have helped…

You have helped fill hundreds of online orders containing fresh produce, pantry staples, baking supplies, diapers and household cleaners since Pantry2Home’s inception. Neighbors either pick up these orders in-person at the pantry or schedule an at-home delivery. Since August 2023…

  • 234 households received food delivered to them
  • 692 people ordered food online
  • 4 staff and volunteers required to receive, process and fill one online order

* Names changed to protect the patient’s privacy.

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