All Mothers Participating in DC WIC Program Now Have 24/7 Tele-Health Support

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DC becomes the third US market to make 24/7 support available to all WIC participants

Pacify Mobile App

As a DC-based company, it's a dream for Pacify to be available to WIC moms District-wide," says the company's co-founder, George Brandes. "The city has been an inspiring partner and a leader nationally on extending high-tech services to the community.

The DC Department of Health Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program has expanded its partnership with Pacify Health, Inc. to enable more than 4,000 low-income women to access around-the-clock breastfeeding support through a mobile application.

Since the partnership launched in June 2016, more than 500 women have signed up for access to the service through a pilot with Mary's Center, a nationally-recognized Community Health Center with eight locations in the District of Columbia. Enrolled through a grant funded by the US Dept. of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, those mothers have made over 1,500 video calls to Pacify's network of International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), 40% of which occurred outside of normal clinic hours.

"Our partnership with Pacify has allowed us to fill an important access gap," says Christi Dorsey, Director of the DC WIC Program. "While our program has a host of lactation peer educators, we have just one IBCLC on staff for roughly 4,000 annual births. This partnership dramatically expands our reach and empowers our mothers to go home with the same kind of support they receive in-clinic."

The DC WIC Pacify program will now provide all participating women with free, video-enabled support from International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) through the Pacify app. Consultants respond to women who call in less than 30 seconds, on average. This short response time is essential for new mothers who may have limited transportation or lack access to traditional healthcare services. DC now joins Mississippi and Nevada as the only WIC markets where all participants have 24/7 access to this level of care.

"As a DC-based company, it's a dream for Pacify to be available to WIC moms District-wide," says the company's co-founder, George Brandes. "The city has been an inspiring partner and a leader nationally on extending high-tech services to the community."

"This is an exciting time for community health centers," says Maria Gomez, founder and CEO of Mary's Center. "Technologies like Pacify are becoming more reliable and affordable, which enables us to deliver services to our patients in innovative and cost-effective ways."

Improved access to IBCLCs is an evidence-based strategy for increasing rates of breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity. Currently, DC has only fewer than two International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants per 1000 live births, compared to the national average of 3.79, and the Surgeon General's recommended 8.6.

About Pacify | http://www.pacify.com

Launched in 2014, Pacify Health, Inc. was founded on the idea that more can be done to use mobile technology to help families access excellent pediatric care, regardless of their circumstances. Pacify's industry-leading mobile platform provides instantaneous, 24/7 support for new mothers. Mothers who download the app can connect via video-visit with clinicians including nurses, nutritionists and lactation consultants. There are no appointments or scheduling, and calls are answered in an average of less than 30 seconds. Pacify serves a diverse range of mothers via contracts with Medicaid Managed Care Companies, state Departments of Health, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, employers, and breast pump manufacturers.

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Arika Pierce