Washington selected for multi-state work to improve outcomes for low-income families through cross-agency collaboration

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Pregnancy and birth can be both stressful and joyful times for families. All families deserve support to ensure the best possible maternal infant health outcomes, and to set the stage for positive early childhood outcomes. Having needed support helps reduce stress and increase resiliency for expectant and new families. And, of course, a negative experience accessing resources can add stress and traumatize vulnerable or marginalized families. While Washington is rich in cross-agency and community partnerships to improve maternal child health and early childhood outcomes, we know there is work to do!

Washington is one of eight states selected to participate in Aligning Early Childhood and Medicaid (AECM), a new multi-state initiative to improve health and social outcomes for vulnerable infants, young children, and families through cross-agency collaboration. The initiative is focused on enhancing the alignment between Medicaid and state agencies responsible for early childhood programs. The Health Care Authority and Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) will jointly lead Washington’s AECM efforts.

A newly formed team is working to strengthen cross-agency alignment and coordination to improve access to services and supports. The team includes executive leadership from several state agencies and is convened by the DSHS Frontiers of Innovation Office. AECM will help our state create and sustain interagency collaboration to accelerate systems and policy alignment. These changes are expected to improve how a family accesses and experiences services and supports, and support a healthier Washington.

The Aligning Early Childhood and Medicaid national initiative is made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center for Health Care Strategies, the National Association of Medicaid Directors and ZERO TO THREE.

Learn more about this multi-state initiative.