News Brief

JBS Wins HRSA Maternal Child Health Bureau Challenge Grant

February 15, 2019

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently selected JBS International as one of 10 winners from Phase One of the Addressing Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnant Women and New Moms Challenge. Each Phase One winner was awarded a cash prize and will move on to Phase Two to develop their prototype and begin small-scale testing through August 2019.

Entitled “Mom and Baby Together,” the winning project is an Artificial Intelligence Clinical Advisor that leverages current SAMHSA-funded guides in a mobile app that guides clinicians through each decision for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome and their mothers. The SAMHSA guides on which the app is based are: Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants and Healthy Pregnancy Healthy Baby Fact Sheets.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by HRSA in this way,” said JBS Co-CEO Gail Bassin. “Our AI-based mobile app can offer alternatives to removal of children from their mothers with opioid use disorder in rural hospitals that otherwise lack the expertise to treat them.”

The 10 winning innovations are technology-based solutions to improve access to quality health care for pregnant and new mothers struggling with opioid use disorder. These innovations aim to reduce barriers in obtaining safe and effective care and treatment, especially for families in rural and geographically isolated areas, according to HRSA.

Challenge entrants included multidisciplinary teams of academics, health professionals, tech companies, IT designers, as well as individuals, community groups, and startups. A diverse panel of experts provides guidance for all aspects of the Challenge and serves as mentors to the winners, providing feedback and evidence-based information.

About the HRSA MCHB Grand Challenges

The four Grand Challenges launched by HRSA’s MCHB are designed to inspire innovation, promote partnerships, and help families and care providers address some of today’s most important health issues. All four Challenges address critical maternal and child health issues. Eligible applicants participate in prize-awarded Challenges with a total prize purse of $1.5 million. These competitions seek low-cost, scalable, innovative solutions that improve the health of mothers and children across the United States.

About JBS International

JBS has more than three decades of experience providing a broad range of social science research, management consulting, technology, communications, and other services to the public sector. The firm has offices in North Bethesda, MD; Atlanta, GA; and Burlingame, CA; and specializes in addressing public health and social challenges such as opioid addiction, HIV infection, diabetes, aging, health systems reform, and more. 

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