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MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Health Department will launch a public health outreach program to promote maternal health.

At the regular meeting of the Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday in the Gerace Office Building, County Health Director Christine Schuyler announced that a $230,000 grant will fund a coordinator and three public health outreach workers.

She said that the Spanish-speaking community and the county’s Amish residents will be targeted by the program. Workers will go to homes and teach health and nutrition to pregnant women and their families. Schuyler said she is excited about the program and hopes it will reduce the infant mortality rate in the county.

Committee members agreed to increase the 2014 budget to start the program.

Schuyler and Marge Johnson from her staff said they started to track out-of-state and out-of-county applicants for public assistance last month. They said that in December 7.6 percent of applicants were not county residents. They also stated that about one-third of all applicants are not approved for public assistance.

Schuyler said she was pleased with the number of cases that have not been approved after hearings.

“Hopefully people will understand that we dog these cases and we are well prepared,” she said.

Johnson said that there has been an increase of more than 10 percent in the number of public assistance participants who are actively looking for work. She said 21 percent of family cases are seeking employment or employment training.