$2 Million Award to Support Maternal Health

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) https://www.hrsa.gov awarded $2 million to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists https://www.acog.org to help reduce maternal morbidity and mortality through the “Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health” https://safehealthcareforeverywoman.org/aim-program.

The U.S has the highest maternal mortality rate of any high resource country and it is the only country outside of Afghanistan and Sudan where the rate is rising. AIM is a national data-driven maternal safety and quality improvement initiative to use proven implementation approaches to improve maternal safety and outcomes in the U.S.

AIM will engage provider organizations, state-based health and public health systems, consumer groups, and other stakeholders in a national partnership. Together they will help teams implement evidence-based “Maternal Safety Bundles” in delivery settings. So far, AIM is working with 13 states and 687 hospitals to implement the Maternal Safety Bundles”.

So far, Illinois has shown promising results as the state has reduced severe maternal morbidity by 22.1 percent and reduced morbidity due to hypertension by 19.9 percent through its AIM hypertension initiative since April 2015.

Also, Oklahoma has seen a 20.5 percent decrease in severe maternal morbidity in 42 participating hospitals since April 2015. This represents a decrease of 19.3 percent in hemorrhages among women and a decrease of 12.4 percent among women with severe hypertension.

Many women who are considered low-income in both rural and urban communities face barriers in accessing prenatal care. Once pregnant, conflicting priorities such as work, child care, and lack of transportation can make it difficult to make the 15 recommended prenatal visits to their provider’s office.

HRSA is also in the process of establishing the “Remote Monitoring Challenge” https://mchbgrandchallenges.hrsa.gov/challenges/remote-pregnancy-monitoring due to launch September 2018. The Challenge will award $375,000 in prizes to support the development and testing of low cost scalable technology innovations to help prenatal care providers remotely monitor the health and wellbeing of pregnant women.

Also to improve maternal safety, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) supports a new Senate HELP Committee bill referred to as the “Maternal Health Accountability Act” (S 1112) that would take significant steps towards fighting maternal mortality and improve maternal health.

The bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Shelley Moore-Capito (R-WV) will help states establish or improve multidisciplinary committees known as “Maternal Mortality Review Committees” that will track, analyze and identify local solutions to prevent maternal deaths.

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