Improve Perinatal Access, Coordination, and Treatment for Behavioral Health



Improve Perinatal Access, Coordination, and Treatment for Behavioral Health (IMPACT BH)

In this page you will find:

  • The State of Perinatal Behavioral Health
  • How We’re Addressing the Crisis
  • Program Impact
  • Partners

The State of Perinatal Behavioral Health:

Colorado is in the midst of a perinatal behavioral health crisis where suicide and unintentional overdose are the leading causes of maternal mortality during pregnancy and through the first year postpartum. Nearly 80% of these deaths are preventable. In Colorado, pregnant and postpartum people who die are more likely to:

  • Identify as someone who is a person of color, lives in a rural community, or receives government-provided services;
  • Have limited access to healthcare and food, unstable housing, and poor health literacy; and
  • Struggle with mental health, substance use, or intimate partner violence.

Top contributing factors to these preventable deaths are lack of coordinated care, stigma surrounding mental health, obstacles to accessing care, systemic inequities and racial biases. In addition, chronic stress and maternal morbidity (pregnancy and birth-related health problems) lead to adverse birth outcomes such as maternal mortality, infant mortality, preterm birth, and low birth weight.

Research shows that nearly 1 in 10 people who had a live birth in Colorado reported experiencing postpartum depressive symptoms. Yet, postpartum care, including depression screenings, is inconsistent throughout the state. Inadequate prenatal care and disparities affecting perinatal health outcomes are inseparable from infant health outcomes. In 2019, 305 infants died before reaching their first birthday, and in 2020, 1 in 11 infants were preterm, requiring prolonged hospitalization and parental separation. Guidelines related to parental presence, support, and integration into the medical and developmental care of these infants are lacking in clinical settings.

How We’re Addressing the Crisis:

Our IMPACT BH program aims to integrate healthcare delivery systems with community organizations and individualized support systems utilizing care navigators to support the patient journey.

Care navigators will:

  • Link the care team and patient to critical information and support across prenatal, hospital, and postpartum care; and
  • Help increase identification, diagnosis, referral, and treatment for perinatal behavioral health needs

CPCQC’s role is to facilitate the program, engage cross-sector partners, assess community needs and resources, prioritize and plan, implement strategies to enhance healthcare delivery and community-based services through existing Quality Improvement (QI) projects, evaluate outcomes, and transition to sustainability. The program is intended to focus on more than just hospital improvement by creating an integrated delivery system that brings together hospitals, community-based healthcare services, and patients as active partners in perinatal and postpartum care.

We are advancing the traditional model that focuses solely on hospital improvement to create an integrated delivery system that supports the whole patient through access to hospital- and community-based care and treatment, wrap-around support services, individualized care coordination, and increased social and peer support.

How We’re Supporting Patients:

See how we’re supporting the Patient Journey with Care Navigator Support. The care navigator model aims to provide patients with a go-to partner who listens and helps connect patient and family with whatever resources, support and information they might need.

Program Impact:

  • 100% of pregnant and postpartum individuals will be screened for behavioral health needs and of those screening positive;
  • 100% will be referred to appropriate specialty care with documentation of follow up;
  • County-wide utilization of medical, behavioral health, and community services by pregnant and postpartum individuals and their families will increase;
  • Interactions & relationships among care teams and pregnant and postpartum individuals and their families will be improved; and
  • Maternal and infant outcomes will improve.


Led by CPCQC in partnership with University of Colorado Practice Innovation Program, Illuminate CO, and Stader Opioid Consultants.

Practice Innovation Program, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Logo

Illuminate logo, Building Better Childhoods tagline

Stader Opiod Consultants Logo

Funded by Colorado Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Administration and Zoma Foundation.

Colorado Behavioral Health Administration Logo

Zoma Foundation Logo

Ready to Make a Difference?

A steady rise in maternal mortality rates and disparities in infant mortality have increased the spotlight on the quality of care delivered by hospitals and their staff. Together, we can address these issues, improve outcomes and reduce preventable deaths in our state.

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