PreventionPays Text To Be Highlighted at APHA 2014 Conference!

PreventionPays Text will be presented at APHA 2014. Our system was selected over several other text message products and we are very happy that our capacity met the rigorous needs of this research project.

This project clearly demonstrates just how critical this communication can be.  There are parts of the Gulf (post oil spill and Katrina) that are similar to a third world country; communication infrastructure is almost non-existent. PreventionPays Text enables their staff and research team to reach low income moms and their families with critical and, in some cases, life-saving information. 

We are very pleased to be working with such great researchers, responders, agencies, universities, and policy advocates!  The work completed under IRB at Tulane University was selected by APHA (American Public Health Association) to be presented at their national conference on public health innovation. It's an honor to be a part of this amazing work. A big thanks to Anna Hassan, program director and author of the abstract, as well as the entire research team at Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA.

Project Title: Methods and Successes in Health Promotion for Low-income, First-time Mothers in the Louisiana Gulf Coast: Community Health Workers Add the Human Element in Maternal Child Health Mobile Technology


Technology has an ever-evolving role in maternal child health, particularly in disaster-prone and low-resource settings such as the Louisiana Gulf Coast. The Transdisciplinary Research Consortium for Gulf Resilience on Women’s Health (GROWH) supported a community-based participatory research project to strengthen resilience and improve birth outcomes. The program recruited WIC-eligible, first-time pregnant women living in vulnerable Gulf Coast areas. The innovative two-fold intervention equipped frontline community health workers (CHWs) with mobile technology uniquely designed for public health. The hybrid text messaging portal combined both efficient one-way educational message tracks, as well as two-way individualized conversational texting capacity in real-time.  Bi-directional texting infused a human element into the project, enabling constructive and meaningful information exchange. Throughout each woman’s pregnancy and postpartum, CHWs conducted psychosocial assessments, utilizing mobile technology to collect data and interact with participants. The CHWs, in collaboration with WIC Clinics, created a message library tailored to high-risk Gulf Coast mothers for each trimester. Topics included breastfeeding, proper nutrition, stress-reduction and effects of controlled substances. This novel approach empowered CHWs and created messages that were both culturally-competent and region-specific, including a disaster-preparedness message series dispatched throughout hurricane season. In six months, the portal enrolled 200 participants; predominately African American (67%), annual family income <$20,000 (77.9%), 18-29 years old (98%), never married (56%) and enrolled in Medicaid (62%). Thousands of outgoing group and individualized messages were sent and kept 75% of participants actively engaged and responsive. Preliminary analyses showed high levels of satisfaction among enrolled participants.


Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research

The first platform was a disaster. Then we found PreventionPays and everything started to click. We had a program!
— Program Director, Tulane School of Public Health

2-1-1 Contact Centers and Enterprise Short Code Texting

It is an irrefutable fact that 2-1-1 has become an essential service. The calling for 211 ACT (which would enable 2-1-1 to receive government funding) is a crucial next step toward long-term sustainability. It is incumbent upon 2-1-1 Contact Centers to make themselves more relevant and valuable to the communities they serve, particularly as communication needs evolve.

Americans under 55 are now texting more than they make voice calls.  Gen-Y has come to expect social services be available through multiple channels. According to a recent article in Mashable, Millennials own an average of 2.5 web-enabled devices and chances are, they are texting on all of them. For reaching individuals, regional groups and specific priority groups, there is nothing more effective than text.

When phones are down, or over-burdened, text is the only communication channel that survives during disasters. The very elements that comprise a text are, by nature, resilient. In fact, SMS was first developed to help the Armed Services communicate in a safer, more secure manner in war-torn regions where communication infrastructure is compromised. During moments when every second counts, mobile phones are helping keep us all safer. Text based alerts offer the quickest, most efficient method for getting short bursts of information to entire communities in seconds.

2-1-1 has expanded into nearly every community in the US making the 211 network ideally suited for text message based alerts and resource provisioning. In the US, the use of SMS during times of catastrophe or natural disaster has proven to have an incredible impact. “Phone lines, fax, and electricity could fail and the only tool you can use is your cell phone ,” said Safe America Foundation Spokesperson, Carla Shaw. For example, during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast of the United States, SMS was the only mechanism available for much of the country to contact those in the affected areas, due to the small amount of data that is required to send a text message. SMS messages are inexpensive and easy-to-use and in recent years the mobile phones that are needed for sending and receiving them have become ubiquitous. Homeland Security published an article in 2010, “The Unprecedented Role of SMS in Disaster Response,” where they pose the question, “what if we could communicate with disaster-affected communities in real-time just days after a major disaster like the quake in Haiti?”

With 898211, the 2-1-1 network has that capacity now.  2-1-1 contact centers are uniquely positioned and skilled to provide this level of service to the communities they serve. What would 2-1-1 Based Text Alerts mean to government agencies like Homeland Security and CDC? Is the case for passing the 2-1-1 ACT strengthened with 2-1-1's capacity and reach to provide first alerts to disaster affected regions? Enterprise short code texting through 898211 offers an ideal opportunity for Homeland Security and other first alert programs to collaborate with 2-1-1 in an effort to maximize resources and utilize infrastructure that's currently available and being deployed at state and national levels.

2-1-1 contact centers already using 898211™ (Enterprise short code texting through PreventionPays Text) are revolutionizing how referrals are administered. Individuals in their communities are a text away from housing, food banks, childcare, elderly care, or any other social services that help them connect with resources. They are also setting new standards for emergency and disaster alerts, disseminating crucial, time sensitive information with pinpoint accuracy.

This capacity is currently available through 898211™ services!

In areas currently using 898211™, individuals simply text their zip code to 898211 to get immediate help with resources. 898211™ platform increases reach to many of the most disadvantaged and difficult to reach groups e.g. youth, hearing/speech impaired, homeless, and the millions of unemployed and/or temporarily displaced Americans.  898211™ increases operator efficiencies, while decreasing missed calls.  898211™ supports fully-automated follow-up triages so that 2-1-1 can collect data required by their funders without having to expend precious staff time on time-consuming followup calls. I&R Specialists should be doing what they do best – linking individuals to resources.

Key facts about 898211™

The Short code 898211™ is provisioned with every mobile carrier in the US

Carriers have provisioned 898211™ on their gateways to function in two very specific ways - 211 I&R and 211 Disaster/Health & Safety Alerts

Over 89 Million US households no longer own a land line

Americans under 55 text more than they make voice calls and email.

Not all mobile phones are able to call 2-1-1, but every mobile phone can send a text to 898211™

898211™ is ideal for post disaster alerts, getting people connected with resources when it matters the most

For more information about the 898211™ Platform, please text MYTEXT to 898211 (Standard msg&data rates may apply. Text STOP to opt out). Or call 805-653-6000.

Or visit us at PreventionPaysText

Sending Text Referrals From Your I&R Database Now Easier Than Ever!

PreventionPays text box is now smarter than ever!  Entering prefabricated content like referrals, links, canned, ready-made phrases can be copied and pasted into the text box and the text box now auto-cleans and strips, making it text message ready. For example, if you are copying and pasting from a resource management tool or web-based service, whether it's crisis counseling by text or 211 I&R by text, you can copy and paste that directly into the text box and the system will auto-format the message so that your clients get referrals in the fewest texts and without line breaks or html tags (that are often part of the referral when copying directly from your online resource management software).  Most referral management tools (I&R resource management software/tools) were not designed for sending referrals by text message. Many were developed before text based I&R was a concept. Instead they were built for telephone voice support, where a resource specialist or crisis counselor dictates the referral back to their client over the phone which can lead to countless errors and misinterpretation.  So, we have adapted your text box on the PreventionPays Text Platform to auto-format non-conforming content so that sending referrals in PreventionPays Text has never been easier or more efficient.

The screenshot below shows a resource that was copied directly from an I&R AIRs certified web-based database management service and pasted into the text box. Then, just below that, it shows the message auto-formatted and delivered to the end user as a single text. 

We have also deployed the auto-segmentation of messages that exceed the character limit.  So, if you are sending multiple referrals, you can now send them at the same time and your text box will properly format those into separate texts (in the most economic and pleasing way for your clients). 

So whether you're texting referrals during a live text encounter or during a phone conversation, your clients will absolutely love what you text them!

For more information about text counseling and text I&R, email or click the link in our website header!

Educational Message Services is a boutique mhealth agency specializing in secure, web-based tools to increase human connections in public health since 1994. As APHA and AIRS members, we are hyper-sensitive to the needs of our clients. Our best advocates and collaborators will always be our clients. They use our services every day and have dedicated their lives to helping others achieve better health outcomes. We want to celebrate and honor their work first and foremost.

Text Feedback from WIC Moms Is Heartwarming!

WIC Peer Counselors get the most amazing texts from moms participating in the WIC Texting Program!  Here are some anonymous texts from moms receiving breastfeeding and nutrition education each week as they get closer to delivery.  Enjoy!

YA!  Good news! LUV the texts!

 Thank you:) I'm so glad ur my peer support!

Thanks for the text! I'm just getting really anxious for my baby to get here!!!

I'm doing good. Getting bigger and bigger lol. But feel good overall :) just tired mostly

Great to hear that, I really appreciate your help! Cause I know some women who are not able to breastfeed, I just hope I am not one of them!

Oh, Okay Thanks.  That’s really helpful.

Yea I have a lot in the freezer for her and she is eating solids now so shes not having many bottles.

I just got your message on my phone sorry I haven't called bck yet . The baby and I are doing great thank you for checking up on us :)

It's going great, no complaints. Feeling bigger but getting closer is about it :)

Thank U!!

Awesome, Thank u again :)

My only concern is that i am trying to find a good peditrian for the baby since the one that one that my daughter goes to are ful

Lol I just had my baby last Saturday and I that was one of the questions I just asked the pediatrician.

Okay thank you very much for ur support!

Lovin’ the msgs! 

Really? so milk can come out of my breasts already? Wow! TY so much for the info!

Ok thank you sooo much. You have a great day too !!

Love the little facts. Thank you!

Going good so far. i had my 3D ultrasound yesterday! It was so cool!

Thank you very much!!! I appreciate it very much!!! When will I be meeting with you will it be closer to my due date?

Hi, I was wondering if over the counter Claritin 24 hour pill was ok to take while breastfeeding.

And in Spanigh too!

OK!  Mil Gracias!

gracias =) si m llegaron los textos

gracias =)

Estoy bien gracias!

Cuanto tiempo es recomendable darle leche maternal

Gracias es muy buena info. Especialmente porque boy a ser mama por primera ves.


Si le estoy dando pecho a mi bebe, por ahora todo vien – gracias

Ho esta bien gracias y que Dios la bendiga

Gracias, pues bien gracias a Dios que si agarra pecho

Gracias por todos mensajes -- solo estoy un poco nerviosa porq es m 1 bb

Recibi tus mensajes gracias!!

Estoy bien gracias y ya termine de atender a mi bebe

Muchas Gracias por los mensajes!

Ok..Que Tengas Un Bonito Dia,Y Un Feliz Fin De Semana,Hasta Luego..Cuidate Bye..

Gracias por hacermelo saber pero ahora no tengo preguntas ya cuando lo tenga le dire gracias

Bien pues ya Tengo siete meses me siento un poco mas cansada. Lo unico que me preocupa es que mi azucar esta altar, pero ya Tengo una Cita

Missed the Webinar? "WIC Texting: Reaching GenY Moms on their Mobile Phones"

We've received several requests for another webinar on Texting and WIC moms.  The service provides secure texting for WIC agencies and is now used in several states for educational texts and two-way conversational texting.  Pre-register now by going here:

Participants will learn how texting is being used by WICs to promote breastfeeding education among GenY moms
They will also learn how WICs are communicating with their caseload using 2-way conversational texting
They will also learn new innovative strategies being used by WICs to reschedule missed appts

The WIC Text Program also supports best practice appointment reminders and compliance (upload your excel, WIX, ISIS, WRI, txt, csv) select the message and the system handles the rest! Most importantly, you'll be able to track the reminders to confirm all phones received the message!  And completely unique to PreventionPays, you'll see responses to the reminders appear in the text inbox. So, if mom needs to reschedule you can do so in a quick text dialogue!)

Additionally, you can promote the secure number (a fully provisioned short code that guarantees coverage across all mobile carriers in the US) in your community to encourage WIC eligible moms to text for more information. Set up automated messages to provide links to online enrollment!  Texting is helping WICs increase enrollments and maintain caseload retention by educating moms about changes in the benefits so that they use the service for the entire period of eligibility!

WICs using the text program are reporting remarkable results:

96% of participants respond favorably to getting their education through text
98% of participants respond to direct messages from WIC staff
95% of participants choose to breastfeed after receiving education

"We started using the text program to follow up with missed appointments. The response has been tremendous. This has been a game changer for us." WIC Director, CA