MCHC’s mission is to advocate for and empower prenatal and parenting families to achieve healthy beginnings and a bright future through a caring culture of service.
Addressing maternal and child health disparities is one of the most significant and challenging issues of the day. Compared to every other developed country, the United States fares the worst in maternal and child morbidity and mortality. At first glance, county-level data positions Chester County as one of the wealthiest counties in Pennsylvania. However, this does not capture the reality of the pockets of poverty 2-3 times greater than the county rate and families struggling to access basic health care.
Maternal and Child Health Consortium (MCHC) was created in 1991 by a group of local volunteers and stakeholders on the belief that everyone should have access to high-quality health care regardless of race, ethnicity, language, insurance status, or immigration status. In 1995, we started providing prenatal case management for low-income pregnant and parenting women and their children. In 1997, with funding from the federal Healthy Start program, MCHC became one of 100 Healthy Start programs in the country. This allowed us to support more communities at highest risk, specifically Latinx/Hispanic and Black/African American families. MCHC’s Family Benefits Program was soon introduced to provide uninsured/under-insured families with bilingual, bicultural assistance with accessing state subsidized health insurance programs and then in 2010 expanded to include enrollment in food benefits. In 2006, MCHC launched the Family Center Program to address a gap in school readiness among low-income families with children in southern Chester County.
MCHC serves upwards of 5,000 families every year and is a leading preventive health service provider in Chester County, with our work having been cited in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Today, MCHC has an operating budget of over $1.8 million through public and private partnerships and strong community support.