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Press Release - Initial External Contributions In Response to Vice President Kamala Harris's Call to Action to Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity

December 07, 2021

On behalf of the Biden-Harris Administration, Vice President Harris is issuing a nationwide Call to Action to both the public and private sectors to help improve health outcomes for parents and infants in the United States. Below are initial external contributions to kick off the White House Maternal Health Day of Action. Read more about the Day of Action here.

(listed alphabetically)

  • The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is announcing that they will hold a Maternal Health Incubator on May 24-25. This Incubator will consist of a two-day virtual convening to better understand the data needed to effectively address maternal health inequities. Participants will identify and share evidence-based strategies to decrease racial/ethnic maternal health gaps, and will develop an action plan aimed at eliminating existing inequities through local, state, and federal policies and collaborations.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) commits to leading the efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among pregnant individuals, including by, 1) forming a COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Champion Network comprised of ACOG members that will facilitate peer-to-peer trainings to boost vaccine confidence, 2) launching a COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence training program aimed at increasing clinicians' capacity to have confident COVID-19 vaccine conversations with all patients, and 3) launching a podcast series in early 2022 aimed at increasing vaccine confidence among pregnant individuals through a mix of clinical recommendations and storytelling.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS) is announcing a national partnership with March of Dimes to advance health equity outcomes for moms and babies, titled "Awareness to Action: Dismantling Bias in Maternal and Infant Healthcare." Through this partnership, BCBS companies will be able to offer March of Dimes' implicit bias training to providers, nursing and medical students, perinatal quality collaboratives, community organizations and their employees. The program has been initially rolled out in 20 states and will be expanded to additional locations in the coming year.
  • The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) is announcing that they will hold a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event on January 18, 2022 to discuss how racial discrimination has jointly impacted housing inequities and maternal health outcomes.
  • CommonSpirit Health is announcing the expansion of its text-based patient navigation program with Docent, through which patients have the option to be paired with virtual care navigators for personalized care and guidance to improve length of stay and preterm birth outcomes. Currently, the program operates in in California and Arizona. CommonSpirit now pledges to expand the program to the Pacific Northwest, the South East, and the Midwest. CommonSpirit is also launching a new set of protocols, developed in partnership with the Morehouse School of Medicine, to address hypertension disorders in pregnancy in several markets, starting in Tennessee, Washington, California and Kentucky.
  • CVS is investing nearly $1.8 million in new maternal health initiatives. These include:
  • In partnership with Every Mother Counts, an investment of over $600,000 to launch the "Choices in Childbirth" video series. "Choices in Childbirth" is a series of on-demand videos and supporting resources aimed at assisting expecting parents through their maternity care journey, with the ultimate goal of improving maternal health and birth equity in the United States. The materials will become available on January 1, 2022.
  • A multi-year partnership and investment of $250,000 in the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, through which nine clinics will receive educational and clinical training for providers to help identify patients at risk for preeclampsia. In addition to providing philanthropic foundation dollars, CVS Health is donating low-dose aspirins for the patients at the clinic.
  • An investment of over $800,000 in America's Essential Hospitals (AEH) to address maternal mortality and morbidity across 12 hospitals who have outcomes above the national average, especially among Black patients, with a focus on hemorrhage or hypertension. Funds will support the expansion or enhancement of locally-tailored initiatives, identify elements of care in improving obstetric care for Black pregnant individuals, and disseminate the lessons learned to over 300 members of the AEH network. Essential Hospitals Institute, the research, education, dissemination, and leadership development arm of AEH, will facilitate a learning collaborative among the 12 hospital grantees to support educational opportunities and peer-to-peer exchanges throughout the 18-month period of participation in the project. The learning collaborative will launch in January 2022.
  • DoorDash, through a partnership with CARE and the Homeless Prenatal Program, has delivered thousands of boxes containing food and essential items to unhoused and unstably housed pregnant mothers. DoorDash has committed to expand this program to serve more people in 2022 by continuing to donate all deliveries made through its partnership with CARE.
  • Every Mother Counts (EMC) commits to launching the EMC Transformation Fund, designed to seed, incubate, and accelerate early-stage ideas on maternal care. Beginning in 2022, EMC will commit $5 million over the next three years to provide multi-year funding for new maternal health initiatives.
  • Families USA commits to extending their efforts to improve maternal health to three new states, with a specific focus on equity, in 2022. This work will be focused on scaling and spreading community-based maternal health models, including efforts to expand home visiting services, doulas, and community health workers.
  • GE Healthcare will extend its Clinical Decision Support software solution to 300 hospitals, which will help clinicians with decision-making for over 1 million women and children during labor and delivery across the United States. The program provides health care teams with access to key clinical information before, during, and post labor and delivery program.
  • Happy Family Organics will donate an estimated value of $1 million in free expert consultation services in 2022 to improve maternal and postpartum health outcomes for women. Currently, Happy Family Organics provides free one-on-one expert support to women and infants through a virtual platform staffed by registered dietitian nutritionists, lactation consultants and mental health professionals. Beginning in 2022, they will launch an initiative to expand this expert content to include pre- and postnatal nutrition guides, meal plans, articles, and recipes.
  • Kaiser Permanente will expand its remote care monitoring program for hypertension to all its members by mid-2022. Kaiser will evaluate this program and its effect on health outcomes by race and ethnicity, with preliminary research findings anticipated in early 2023.
  • Lyft, in partnership with CareSource, will conduct analysis on the impact that safe, reliable transportation has on healthy pregnancies. The company will measure the effects of the access to rides they provide to healthcare appointments and other maternity-related services, such as to grocery stores, pharmacies and educational classes. Lyft will publish a report on this initiative after the data collection efforts in several States are completed.
  • Maven Clinic will expand its free education and advocacy initiative addressing vaccine hesitancy for pregnant women, enabling any pregnant person to meet with a Maven OB-GYN or midwife to get answers to their questions about COVID vaccines for the entirety of 2022.
  • The Maternal Health Collaborative to Advance Racial Equity, or Maternal HealthCARE, a partnership between March of Dimes and the Department of Health and Human Services, commits to elevating the voices of birthing patients and communities through a new partnership with the non-profit corporation, Narrative Nation, Inc. Narrative Nation's Irth App captures self-reported experiences of racism and discrimination during pregnancy and generates data-driven insights, through which Maternal HealthCARE will provide actionable feedback to hospitals and health systems.
  • Merck has pledged to expand its Merck for Mothers program by $150 million globally in 2021, with the goal of improving the maternal health and well-being of 25 million women by 2025. $15 million of the new funding will be devoted to addressing racial disparities in maternal health in the United States, with the intent of building on the Safer Childbirth Cities initiative and scaling community-led approaches that eliminate racial health disparities.
  • The National Perinatal Information Center (NPIC) will partner with 15 hospitals, public and private partners, and other maternal health organizations to elevate the need for accurate race and ethnicity reporting within electronic health records (EHR), beginning in 2022. NPIC estimates that this commitment will impact data analysis and stratification for over 725,000 mothers and newborns. Through the partnership, NPIC will provide comparative perinatal and neonatal data analytics to provide insights into maternal and neonatal outcomes stratified by race and ethnicity.
  • The New York Fed, in partnership with NYU's Rory Meyers College of Nursing, works to identify scalable solutions to improve outcomes in maternal and child health. This week, the New York Fed is announcing the release of a white paper titled The Fourth Trimester and Beyond: The Case for Transformative Investments and Solutions in Maternal Health, summarizing key findings from their efforts to date. Going forward, the New York Fed will continue to engage NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, investors, researchers, and community-based organizations to identify new business models and financing opportunities for supporting its work on maternal and child health.
  • Pampers will double its accredited implicit bias training for maternal healthcare staff in high need states in 2022, which they estimate will impact over 20,000 birthing parents each year.
  • Philips is announcing new expanded research programs in virtual care and artificial intelligence to help close the gap on maternal care deserts. Through point of care solutions, Philips is working to enable caregivers in rural areas to connect with specialists who can help them understand how to support a healthy pregnancy. Moreover, beginning in 2022, Philips will begin working with health systems on pilot programs that will expand remote fetal monitoring, further supporting expectant mothers in maternal care deserts.
  • The Institute for Perinatal Quality Improvement's (PQI) is announcing the launch of its SPEAK UP Against Racism Faculty Course. The SPEAK UP Program is a quality improvement approach that supports individuals and teams to improve and eliminate inequities in structures and processes that contribute to disparities in perinatal outcomes. PQI will launch the faculty course in 2022. PQI is also announcing that, beginning January 2022, they will offer a 20% discount to the first 1,000 learners of their Intermittent Auscultation (IA) Simulation-Based online education module. IA is an evidence-based standard of care for fetal assessment in low-risk labor that reduces overuse of cesarean sections.
  • Sage Therapeutics has committed to expanding its new Check on Mom program. Check on Mom is a maternal mental health pilot initiative that provides information and resources to help women prepare for the fourth trimester – the 12-week period after giving birth. Sage intends to scale the program from its current enrollment of 250 moms to Sage's goal of reaching approximately 250,000 women with postpartum depression (PPD), including those in communities most at risk of PPD.
  • Uber is announcing that it will publish the results from their Rides for Moms initiative, a program launched with Surgo Ventures, Community of Hope, and Mary's Center to provide free transportation for prenatal and postnatal care appointments for up to 1,000 pregnant people in the Washington, D.C. area. At the program's close at the end of 2022, Uber will publish a report with their findings from this partnership that will inform future initiatives and improve access to maternal health.

If you want to participate in the future, please reach out to: HHSIEA@hhs.gov

Kamala Harris, Press Release - Initial External Contributions In Response to Vice President Kamala Harris's Call to Action to Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/353680

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