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Commitment & Gratitude

As the end of the year fast approaches, we are reflecting on the opportunity we have had in 2021 to share powerful resources, build connections, and uplift the stories, ideas, and voices of the many people across the country working hard to improve maternal health and well-being. We honor the significant challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to all of our work, as well as the mothers and birthing people who have suffered from this virus. We are grateful to have had the chance to work closely with over 35 professionals and organizations including R.A.C.E. for Equity, ACOG, AMCHP, Georgia Health Policy Center, ROSE and Ph Solutions in this journey. Our National Maternal Health Resource Center houses a wealth of information and we are excited to share many new products with you in this newsletter.


We are proud of the work that has happened and eager to continue this work in 2022. Looking forward, we remain focused on our goals to improve maternal health outcomes, center equity, advance innovation, provide resources to maternal health professionals, and foster meaningful connections. The work ahead is complex, urgent, and can only continue to happen with your support. Thank you for the generosity of spirit and time you have shown. We look forward to amplifying the work underway and helping to push all of us toward not only preventing maternal / birthing person sickness and death, but helping new parents thrive.

We are grateful for your support. Thank you!

Save the dates for the 2022 National Maternal Health Innovation Symposium! The 2022 Symposium will be held August 2 & 3, 2022 in Chicago, IL. We plan to meet in-person for the first time since the event's inception. More details coming soon!

Maternal Health Day of Action

Vice President Kamala Harris Hosted First-Ever Federal Maternal Health Day of Action Summit

Vice President Harris Delivers Opening Remarks at the Maternal Health Call to Action Summit
Vice President Harris has a 1-on-1 Conversation with Allyson Felix

On December 7, Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a summit surrounding the first federal Maternal Health Day of Action at the White House. The day featured many of MHLIC's partners and individuals affiliated with partners who have been paving the way toward a better maternal health future. Here are a few key takeaways from the summit:

  • Maternal health has $3 billion set aside in the Build Back Better Act, including $50 million allocated specifically for doulas. The bill also includes investments in growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce, improving data collection and maternal health risk monitoring, addressing the social factors that contribute to poor maternal health outcomes, addressing substance use disorders that impact maternal health, promoting increased maternal health research, improving postpartum coverage, and better coordinating care.
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is releasing guidance for states to begin providing 12 months of continuous postpartum coverage, a dramatic and much needed increase from 60 days.
  • CMS is also to begin issuing "Birthing-Friendly" designations to hospitals nationwide.

The history-making summit included impactful testimony from parents. They shared their personal stories about the difficulties they faced being heard, the impact of having very few options for care before, during, and after pregnancy in rural areas, and the unfortunate experience of loss of life.

Read the fact sheet for more information about how the Build Back Better Act can have a positive impact on maternal health and maternal health outcomes, and tune in to the replay below.

Read the Fact Sheet
Watch the Replay 

Latest Work & Products

Maternal Health Innovation Podcast

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The Maternal Health Innovation Podcast has been featured in Feedpost's Best 15 Podcasts about Maternal Health!

The Maternal Health Innovation Podcast launched in October, with new episodes live each Tuesday anywhere you listen to podcasts.

In this series, we speak with experts about ways we can better serve women and birthing people and advance maternal health equity. All episodes are available and linked in our Resource Center. You can also follow #MHIPodcast on social media.

Maternal Health Innovation Podcast Line Up:

1. Doulas are Magic, with LaToshia Rouse (Birth Sisters Doula Services)

2. Spotlighting Inequities and Disparities in Maternal Health, with Dr. Rachel Caskey

3. Advocating for Moms Who Don't Have Resources, with Shaunette Howard

4. The fight for lactation rights, with Stevie Merino and To-wen Tseng

5. The Stress of Being Black and Pregnant, with Karen Sheffield-Abdullah

6. How a hotline is transforming breastfeeding culture and access to care in Appalachia

7. Is Midwifery a Right or a Privilege?

8. What Tribal Nations’ Ancestral Knowledge Teaches Us About Maternal Health

9. Facing Maternal Mortality Rates, Mental Health in Pregnancy, and More

Listen Now
Maternal Health 101 3 minute video. Click to watch.

Maternal Health 101 Video Debut

In collaboration with ACOG, MHLIC developed a video, Maternal Health 101, to educate stakeholders about the importance of having a village. Covering preconception to the 4th trimester, Maternal Health 101 provides a look at the stark present and a glimpse at what a brighter future in maternal health could look like. This is a great video to share with all audiences as a refresher about WHY we must do better!

Watch Maternal Health 101
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MHLIC Videos Available

Videos from our Leadership Series, National Maternal Health Innovation Symposium, recent webinars, and more are all available for viewing on our YouTube Channel. Check them out!

MHLIC YouTube Channel

MHLIC Spotlight: Postpartum Support International

How Focusing on Perinatal Mental Health will Improve Well-Being of Mothers, Families, Communities

This webinar, presented by PSI’s Mind the Gap, in partnership with the Center for Law and Social Policy and MHLIC, explored systems and policy-level changes to ensure better quality perinatal mental health outcomes.

Watch the Replay
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Prioritizing Perinatal Mental Health

The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality among wealthy nations. An analysis by the medical journal, The Lancet, found that the U.S. has a maternal mortality rate of 26.2 per 100,000 live births, more than three times greater than Canada and the overall average for Western Europe.

Read More
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Mind the Gap: A Call to Action to Address the Perinatal Mental Health Crisis

The Mind the Gap Initiative released a national Perinatal Mental Health Strategic Action Plan which outlines the growing crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of women and birthing people across the United States who suffer from undiagnosed and untreated perinatal mental health disorders, and outlines policy and program solutions to ensure they get the care they need.

Read More

Undiagnosed and Untreated Perinatal Mental Health Conditions: A Silent Crisis

In the last twenty years, the death rates for all American women and birthing people from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth have risen by a staggering 50 percent. The numbers are far worse for Black and American Indian women, who are six times more likely to die than white women.

Read More

Maternal Health News

MHLIC Team Members Featured in Patient Safety Network Perspectives Collection

Dr. Kristin Tully and Dr. Alison Stuebe were recently interviewed for their work in maternal and infant care, their Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Learning Lab project, and what they are discovering about equitable care and its impact on patient safety.

Read the Interview

Recently, Dr. Stuebe and Dr. Tully also co-authored an article for Patient Safety Network, "Health Equity and Maternal Health," in which they redefine maternal safety, address structural and social determinants of maternal safety, and discuss an integrated approach to whole-person maternal care.

Read the Article

HHS Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge

The Office on Women’s Health (OWH) in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the HHS Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge: Innovative Methods to Improve Postpartum Care for Black or African American and American Indian/ Alaska Native Women. OWH and CMS is seeking innovative ways to improve postpartum care for Black or African American and American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) low-income beneficiaries enrolled in Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), with an emphasis on follow-up care for conditions associated with morbidity and mortality in the later postpartum period, including diabetes, postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety, hypertension, and substance use disorders (SUD).

Learn More

Reports & Funding Opportunities

National Quality Forum Releases Final Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Project Report

National Quality Forum (NQF) has released a comprehensive report with practical recommendations for enhancing maternal morbidity and mortality measurement to improve maternal health outcomes in the U.S. Maternal morbidity and mortality have been steadily increasing in the U.S. since 2000, with the maternal mortality ratio reaching 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2018. This is two to ten times higher than nearly a dozen other developed countries with comparable inputs. The final report includes two key measurement frameworks that account for the various influences on an individual’s health outcomes related to maternal morbidity and mortality.

Learn More

New Study: Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence, Reproductive Coercion, and Reproductive Health Among American Indian and Alaska Native Women

Journal of Women's Health recently published a study reporting that 45% of a group of American Indian and Alaska Native women experienced reproductive coercion in their lifetime. Intimate partner violence and sexual violence contribute to a disproportionately high prevalence of poor reproductive and sexual health outcomes among American Indian and Alaska Native women. The authors conclude that these findings may advance understanding of American Indian and Alaska Native women's reproductive health and define intervention strategies that promote resiliency.

Read the Article

Funding Opportunity: Supporting American Indian/Alaska Native Maternal Health Through Tribal-Led Maternal Mortality Review Committees

The National Indian Health Board is providing grants to assess capacity of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) entities for establishing, implementing, and maintaining tribal-led Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs). Grantees will participate in a self-assessment to explore key components of Tribal-led MMRCs and assess readiness to establish and sustain a tribal-led MMRC. This opportunity is open nationwide.

Learn More

Funding Opportunity: Maternal and Child Health Secondary Data Analysis Research

HRSA has announced the opportunity to apply for funding under the Maternal and Child Health Secondary Data Analysis Research (MCH SDAR) Program. The purpose of the program is to support applied MCH research that utilizes the secondary analysis of existing national data sets and/or administrative records to improve the health and well-being of MCH populations. The total amount of grant funding available is $600,000 with an award ceiling of $100,000. The closing date for applications is January 26, 2022.

Learn More & Apply

Upcoming Events

Reducing Health Disparities by Addressing Integrated Behavioral Health in a Maternal Child Health Care Setting

December 15, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET

RSVP to Attend

This webinar explores the intersection of COVID, health disparities, and integrated behavioral health care within a maternal child health context. Presenter Rhonda Waller brings more than 25 years of experience in maternal and child health, education, and human services with an emphasis on program development, leadership development, capacity building, and training and technical assistance.

Connecting Prevention Specialists to Native Communities

December 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET

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The National American Indian & Alaska Native Prevention Technology Transfer Center Network (PTT, in collaboration with SAMHSA’s Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center, is holding virtual trainings for prevention specialists to support our Native communities.


Maternal Health Awareness Day

January 23, 2022

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Continuing the movement that was started by New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, ACOG is expanding nationwide with Maternal Health Awareness Day, Sunday, January 23, 2022. Maternal Health Awareness Day is held annually on 1/23 for the #123forMoms campaign.

MHLIC is excited to support ACOG and other organizations in an effort to raise awareness about maternal health care, outcomes, and raising the bar.

Learn More

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MHLIC Well Wishes and Job Opening

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Recently, our Core Manager, Lynell Hodges (pictured), transitioned to a new position and has bid MHLIC farewell. She was an integral part of the team and will be missed. Best wishes, Lynell!

With that said, we are seeking a Core Manager. The Core Manager will plan work to meet project objectives and deadlines, assess needs and make changes in processes, workflow and/or assignments and ensure all training and technical assistance activities are aligned within the MHLIC and with external stakeholders and contractors. The three primary functions of the position include:

1. Program Administration,

2. Data Analysis and Information Management, and

3. Communication.

Share or apply for the Core Manager position below.

Learn More / Apply

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This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U7CMC33636-01 for the National Maternal Health Learning and Innovation Center Cooperative Agreement. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.


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