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HHS Secretary Sebelius Announces text4baby as HHSinnovates Award Winner

Saturday, August 7, 2010 Press Release J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 Text4baby, a program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), has been honored with a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HHSinnovates award, presented by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a ceremony in Washington, DC. This week, Representatives from HMHB, Voxiva, Health Resources and Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the HHS Office on Women's Health accepted the award on behalf of the text4baby team.

"It's truly an honor for the program to receive the distinction of Secretary's Pick," said Judy Meehan, Chief Executive Officer of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. "The active involvement of so many HHS employees has been crucial to the development and promotion of text4baby. We also deeply appreciate the support and insight of our other partners, particularly our founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson and the wireless carriers."

The prestigious HHSinnovates competition initiated this year by Secretary Sebelius celebrates innovations that have improved HHS service to the American public, including those that have achieved breakthroughs in public engagement and collaboration. Based on employee voting and Secretary Sebelius' selections, awards went to the top three innovative programs, chosen from 126 submissions.

"This marks an important achievement for the public/private partnership model - especially for the pioneering founders of the text4baby program," said Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer. "It is an innovation that is both low-cost and effective in helping to close an important information gap for pregnant women and new mothers."

Launched in February this year, text4baby is a free mobile educational service of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition that delivers timely health information during pregnancy and through baby's first year, via text messaging personalized to a pregnant woman's due date or baby's date of birth. Women sign up for the service by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411.

Since its launch, more than 64,000 individuals have signed up for the text4baby program, over three and a half million messages have been sent, and more than 300 outreach partners, including national, state, business, academic, non-profit, and other groups, have signed on to promote the service.

About text4baby

Text4baby is made possible through a public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, tribal agencies, and non-profit organizations. Founding partners include HMHB, Voxiva, CTIA - The Wireless Foundation, and WPP. Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor, and Premier sponsors include WellPoint, Pfizer, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. U.S. government partners include the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense Military Health System and U.S. Department of Agriculture. The mobile health platform is provided by Voxiva, and free messaging services are generously provided by participating wireless service providers. Implementation partners include BabyCenter, Danya International, Syniverse Technologies, Keynote Systems, and The George Washington University. MTV Networks is a media sponsor.

About the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition

The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) is the only coalition of its kind which acts as a catalyst for change by creating partnerships among community groups, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, businesses and government agencies. The Coalition promotes optimal health for mothers and babies, and works to strengthen families and build healthy communities.

SOURCE National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
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