News Release

June 19, 2012

OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Carter Kimble - (405) 522-7510

Oklahoma Efforts Recognized Nationally In Text4baby Contest

For the second time in two months, Oklahoma has been recognized nationally for its efforts in the “text4baby” campaign, which focuses on getting pregnant women and new mothers to enroll in a program designed to improve infant care.

“Text4baby is a wonderful way to leverage technology to improve the health of women and infants in Oklahoma and across the nation. In recent years, Oklahoma has had a fairly high infant mortality rate and this is one of the ways we can address that,” said OHCA incoming Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sylvia Lopez.

Oklahoma won the first week of the contest, which began May 17, then won again the first week of June. Oklahoma is competing in the middle-sized state/territory category against 25 states.

“The text4baby State Enrollment Contest is a great way for states to actively participate in making sure that pregnant women and new moms across the country get the most important information they need to ensure their child’s healthy development,” said Judy Meehan, CEO of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.

Text4baby provides timely tips and expert advice sent directly to the cell phones of pregnant women and new moms. Pregnant women and new mothers who text "BABY" (or “BEBE” for Spanish) to 511411 receive weekly text messages, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date through the baby’s first year.

The messages, which have been developed by government and non-profit health experts like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics, deal with topics such as nutrition, immunization, and birth defect prevention.

The state text4baby campaign is being promoted by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Smart Start Oklahoma and community partners across the state.

In its first two years, text4baby has already reached more than 335,000 users thanks to its unprecedented public-private partnership. By engaging a vast network of more than 775 text4baby outreach partners around the country, the contest aims to reach more potential participants through healthy competition among the states.