SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A big announcement from Avera Health Tuesday. It has received two grants from the National Institute of Health totaling $58 million.
The money will be used to conduct research on children’s health and development and their families.
For the past seven years, the Avera Research Institute has been conducting research to benefit the health of mothers and children.
Avera received another $47 million to continue that research for the next seven years for Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes or ECHO.
“So in child health what we are looking at is how do early environmental influences like nutrition, it could be air pollution, it could be depression; any of those early influences and how they affect child development,” Amy Elliot said.
3,500 children between the ages of five and 14 are currently participating in the research and they even get to wear these little lab coats to show everyone they are little scientists conducting valuable research.
The second grant is $11 million to establish a whole regional network on maternal health.
The centers will be looking at ways to reduce pregnancy-related complications.
“In the past couple of years, there has been this incredible rise in maternal mortality so deaths within one year of giving delivery of an infant in fact the United States is one of only developed countries that has seen an increase in the past few years,”
The Centers for Maternal Health will be focused on two populations with stark health disparities in the region – American Indian and rural residents.
To learn more about the grants and how they’ll be used, click here.