Mama Co-op

Organization Location: 
Bloomington, MN USA

Women in rural areas lack access to affordable, quality health prevention and treatment services. The absence of health treatment and prevention strategies partnered with harmful local customs discourages positive health outcomes. HealthPartners community-owned, sustainable health coop model empowers local stakeholders to partner for increased access to care and improved health outcomes. This is critical for reducing barriers for pregnant women to seek antenatal care, delivery with a skilled health professional and to receive critical follow up care immediately after birth. Addressing the problem of demand, HealthPartners Cooperative model reduces out of pocket, health-related expenditures for pregnant women through risk pooling. Healthy individuals offset expenses incurred by those who fall sick. Incentivized Village Health Teams (VHT) sensitize communities to the co-op model and provide health education. Service delivery challenges are addressed when providers receive reliable quarterly income and increased partnership with the community. The increase in consistent revenue allows providers to hire/retain quality staff and ensure a stock of supplies. MAMA CO-OP will create access to health care and education for 900 pregnant women and newborns, 6,000 members overall. HealthPartners innovation is in the sustainability of the model. The co-op is entirely financed by local stakeholders; no donor subsidies, no reinsurance. Community stakeholders identify their priority health needs and goals. The project provides the model and builds stakeholder capacity to develop partnerships and to financially manage the co-op, thus sustaining improved healthy preventive and treatment seeking behaviors and increased access to quality care.

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