Congressman Brian Higgins announced on Monday September 19th that the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) will receive $468,566 from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to support the Go Buffalo Mom program.
The Go Buffalo Mom program will assist low-income, high-risk pregnant women in the City of Buffalo reach medical appointments and improve prenatal care.
Go Buffalo Mom will match soon-to-be mothers with transportation navigators who will work with them develop the least expensive, most reliable, and shortest public transportation routes to health care appointments through a series of meetings. The program also will provide a financial education and savings program to help clients manage expenses.
The Go Buffalo Mom program was created through a partnership with a group of members of the Healthy Start, Healthy Future For All Coalition, an initiative the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and UBMD and includes the NFTA, Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council, healthcare organizations, medical providers, school and university organizations, government entities, human service organizations, faith-based partners, and transportation experts from One Region Forward. Additionally, over 50 women who would potentially use the service were interviewed to provide individual feedback about their needs.
Buffalo has an 11.4% pre-term birth rate, the highest of any major city in New York State. Over 1,150 infants in Erie County are delivered pre-term annually. First year medical costs associated with a pre-term birth is approximately $76,000 compared to $17,000 for a full-term birth. Therefore, $59,000 in direct medical expenses are saved for every pre-term birth that is averted.