The MolinaCares Accord Donates $50,000 to SHIELDS For Families in Support of Innovative Programs to Combat Perinatal Depression


LONG BEACH, Calif., Dec. 1, 2022The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”), in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of California (“Molina”), has granted $50,000 to SHIELDS for Families (“SHIELDS”), a community-based non-profit serving south Los Angeles, in support of programs to combat perinatal depression among mothers of color.

Part of the MolinaCares California Equity and Accessibility Initiative launched in 2021 to advance health equity across the state of California, the grant supports an ongoing partnership with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and their Health Equity Challenge (HEC). Through the HEC, Alma Lopez, a UCLA graduate student, submitted a proposal that SHIELDS will help implement.

"At Molina, maternal mental health care is a top priority, especially for mothers of color, whom we know to be disproportionately burdened with high rates of perinatal depression and inadequate treatment options," said Abbie Totten, plan president of Molina Healthcare of California. “We are excited to partner with SHIELDS for Families to support innovative solutions that can lead to improved mental health outcomes."

As part of Lopez’s proposal, over an eight-week period, SHIELDS will engage up to 40 parent participants, through peer support groups offered in English and Spanish. Data collected will inform and guide future efforts to address maternal mental health across urban communities. Materials, such as emotional wellness self-help tools, will be developed for the program, which can then be replicated in future initiatives and at other sites. The goal of the program is to identify tools, practices and resources to measurably reduce perinatal depressive symptoms among participants.

“It is our hope that this program will help to increase awareness around maternal mental health and perinatal depression, while enhancing the bond between mother and child among those participating,” said Sonja Juniel, program administrator at SHIELDS for Families.

About The MolinaCares Accord
Established by Molina Healthcare, Inc., The MolinaCares Accord oversees a community investment platform created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations by funding meaningful, measurable, and innovative programs and solutions that improve health, life, and living in local communities. The MolinaCares Accord funds such measures through The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) established in 2020 by Molina Healthcare, Inc.

About Molina Healthcare of California
Molina Healthcare of California has been providing government-funded care for 40 years. The Company serves members through Medi-Cal, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals) and Covered California (Marketplace). Molina’s service areas include Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Orange County and Imperial counties. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, served approximately 5.2 million members as of September 30, 2022.

About SHIELDS for Families
SHIELDS for Families is a community-based 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization located in south Los Angeles serving individuals, children, and families through comprehensive and collaborative social services for child and youth development, child welfare, mental health, substance use disorder treatment, and supportive services such as food, transportation, housing, legal services, and educational and vocational training.