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Strengthening the evidence for maternal and child health programs

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ESM 3.2 Percent of LHDs who are utilizing the NC Psychiatry Access Line (NC-PAL) (North Carolina)

Measure Status: Active

Evidence Level: Strategy and ESM aligns with priority, however it is not in direct alignment with NPM. See other ESMs for this NPM ( or find other NPM 3 practice-level strategies in MCHbest.

Measurement Quadrant: Quadrant 2: Measuring quality of effort (% of reach; satisfaction)

Service Type: Public health services and systems level of pyramid

Essential Public Health Services: 7. Assure effective and equitable health systems

Service Recipient: Activities related to systems-building

Goal: By 2025, 75% of LHDs will use the NC-PAL in an effort to assist primary care providers in addressing the behavioral health needs of pregnant and post-partum patients.

Numerator: Number of LHDs who are utilizing the NC-PAL

Denominator: Number of LHDs providing maternal health services

Significance: Depression and anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period are common and have significant negative impacts on mother and child. Suicide is a leading cause of maternal mortality. Evidence-based efforts for screening, assessment, and treatment improve maternal and infant mental health, as well as overall family health, throughout the lives of women and children. NC-PAL or the NC Psychiatry Access Line, is a telephone consultation program designed to assist primary care providers in addressing the behavioral health needs of pediatric, pregnant, and post-partum patients. When primary care providers have a question about perinatal mental health, they can call the NC-PAL to be connected with the information they need. Care coordinators respond to questions within the scope of their expertise, provide resources and referrals, and can connect providers to psychiatric perinatal mental health specialists. Board-certified psychiatric perinatal mental health specialists can assist with diagnostic clarification and medication questions.

Data Sources and Data Issues: NC MATTERS Report

Year: 2020

Unit Type: Percentage, Unit Number: 100


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.