CityMatCH is a national membership organization of city and county health departments’ maternal and child health (MCH) programs and leaders representing urban communities in the United States. CityMatCH’s mission is to strengthen public health leaders and organizations to promote equity and improve the health of urban women, families, and communities.
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CityMatCH was initiated in 1988 as a special project of the Boston Department of Health and Hospitals with the goal of improving the organization and delivery of services to urban families and children. Initial project activities centered on developing an information base on what major health departments across the United States were doing to address shared urban MCH problems such as increasing racial disparities in infant mortality, inadequate access to prenatal care, substance abuse in pregnancy, and interpersonal violence. The CityMatCH project, under the leadership of urban MCH program directors in cities across the county, evolved into a national organization in 1991. CityMatCH has been strategically position at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for nearly 30 years, and is the Division on Child Health Policy within the Department of Pediatrics.
CityMatCH is grounded in the philosophy that all children and families deserve to be healthy and achieve their optimal growth and development in the physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of their lives. The responsibility for assuring this is shared by each individual and his or her family, the community, and government at the federal, state, and local levels. Children and families in urban areas have unique needs and deserve special attention. These needs must be effectively addressed in order for all children, and ultimately our society, to achieve full potential. Local public health agencies are a critical component of the collaborative effort that is needed to improve the health of children and families in urban areas.