A Semblance of Familiarity

This summer brought some sense of normalcy. Many events returned to in-person, more people traveled, and families have been able to get together. But what will never be normal - or acceptable? Growing rates of maternal mortality and morbidity.

This summer, we were able to attend and host conferences and webinars designed to provide education, innovation, connection, and inspiration because disparities in maternal mortality continue. COVID-19 magnified disparities and is pushing us to dig deeper, reach further, and plant bigger seeds of change.

The National Maternal Health Innovation Symposium is one part of how MHLIC plants seeds for change. We are proud to have coordinated 35 workshops, a film screening and Q&A session, 11 Spark Sessions, and four plenary sessions for the more than 700 people who attended our annual Symposium (in-person and virtual). Topics included maternal health policy, mental health, systems change, community and cultural engagement, and improving workforce diversity.

Recordings from the Symposium are now available on MHLIC’s YouTube Channel along with a recap of the event. A big THANK YOU to all of our wonderful speakers who made this event all that it was.

Symposium Recordings
Symposium Event Page

MHLIC Updates

Community of Practice (CoP) Sessions

Storytelling as Qualitative Data for Advancing Maternal Health Equity

We are excited to offer the maternal health community a collective learning opportunity this month. The sessions are designed so that participants can share stories about their experiences, successes, and challenges in maternal health in an organic and fluid manner that encourages open discussion, creativity, and innovation. Participants will learn from one another and together, then take that knowledge back to their communities or respective organizations to better their own practices within the field of maternal health.

There will be two sessions hosted and facilitated by R.A.C.E for Equity. You are welcome to join both sessions, but attendance to both sessions is not required.

RSVP for Sept. 8 
RSVP for Sept. 20

MHLIC to Receive Supplemental Funding to Support White House Maternal Health Blueprint and Additional State Teams

MHLIC is happy to announce that we expect to be awarded supplemental funding by HRSA to support The White House Maternal Health Blueprint and the on-boarding of additional state teams during the upcoming year.

As part of supporting the Blueprint, MHLIC is set to develop and disseminate multiple products to promote, educate, and expand on its core values. These values contribute to setting standards for maternal health care and outcomes. We look forward to working together - creating new partnerships and expanding current partnerships - to help create a better future for women and birthing people. 

Review the Blueprint

New Blog

Creating Impactful Patient Education Materials

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Getting upstream to address maternal and infant health outcomes is important. The Show Your Love team at UNC is addressing women's health equity with the Show Your Love campaign and Before and Beyond health professional trainings.

In this blog, they explore best practices for creating engaging patient education content and shares resources on numerous preconception health topics. The team discusses the creation of patient education content on that is easily sharable and open to the public for printing and distributing. Access, download, share patient education materials on a variety of wellness topics at: 

Read More

2-Part Webinar Replay

Healing Centered Engagement for Intimate Partner Violence Training

In case you missed it, intimate partner violence (IPV) and homicide contribute to maternal mortality, but are often not addressed. Recognizing this gap, MHLIC hosted the FUTURES Without Violence “Connected Parents Connected Kids” CUES training. The replays are available in our IPV Training playlist.

Watch the Replays

Resources and Research

MHLIC-Published Resource

Listening to and Justly Partnering with Community-Led Perinatal Health Solutions

State Title V/Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programs across the United States are eager to implement solutions created with communities to close racial disparities in maternal health outcomes. This report from AMCHP, MHLIC, and Commonsense Childbirth is designed to help learn more about how the efforts of countless programs have been deemed effective by the communities who use these services. Read the Report

Additional Resources

Maternal and Infant Health Mapping Tool

This tool is intended to serve as a key resource for exploring data on maternal and infant health in communities. This resource is not intended to be comprehensive; only publically-available data sources at a county or location-specific level are included. States, localities, and programs may have state-level or more specific data or other sources available to them that are not included here. Users are able to upload their own data sources for their own use. Use the Tool

Health Care Transformation to Advance Black Maternal Health Equity Virtual Symposium

The Commonwealth Fund hosted a virtual symposium with leading experts from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Century Foundation, Urban Institute and more and explored: ideas for financing health care transformation and innovation, strategies for implementing high quality and respectful care, and how to use data to advance maternal health equity. Watch the Replays

Redesigning Prenatal Care Initiative

ACOG and the University of Michigan convened an independent panel of maternal care experts to review the evidence regarding current prenatal delivery. Visit the Website

Perspectives on Cultural Competency and Race Concordance from Perinatal Patients and Community-Based Doulas

As awareness of perinatal health disparities grows, many women and birthing people of color are seeking racially and/or culturally concordant providers. This report describes preferences for, and perceptions of, racial and/or cultural concordance and cultural competence in the context of the doula–client relationship. Read the Report

Improving the Oral Health of Pregnant People

In the Journal of the California Dental Association, experts discuss the need for a partnership between healthcare providers and public health professionals to improve the oral health of pregnant people. Featured articles explore dental care throughout the maternal health journey. Access the Issue


Racial Inequities in the Availability of Evidence-Based Supports for Maternal and Infant Health in 93 Rural US Counties with Hospital-Based Obstetric Care

Being pregnant in rural America means facing interconnected challenges: a greater risk of pregnancy-related complications or death, and declining access to maternity care during pregnancy and childbirth. For rural residents who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), pregnancy-related health outcomes and access to maternity care are even worse. Racial disparities in rural maternal and infant health outcomes may be related to limited accessibility of clinical care and pregnancy/postnatal support programs and services in rural communities. In this policy brief, we describe these differences between majority-BIPOC versus majority-white rural counties’ available maternal and infant health evidence-based supports. Read the Brief

Upcoming Events

EnRICH Webinar: The impact of community doulas on reducing health disparities in maternal and child health populations

Sept. 13, 2022

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Large and persistent racial inequities in maternal health outcomes require an inclusive system of care to increase access to patient- and community-centered services and to reduce disparities for pregnant, birthing, and postpartum people, especially those at risk for bias and discrimination. One element of such a system is the community doula, a culturally congruent health worker who provides emotional support, peer education, resource navigation, and labor support. Best practices for integrating community doulas into maternal and child health (MCH) services is still evolving and requires resources and ongoing research to help identify/address gaps to improve the health and well-being of the MCH community.

Register Here

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration to Improve Outcomes for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorder in Pregnancy

Sept. 15, 2022

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC) coordinated by the National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ), and the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) invite you to a webinar on implementing Plans of Safe Care (POSC) to support infants, parents, and caregivers affected by substance use disorder.

Learn More & RSVP

Black Maternal Health Conference and Training Institute

Sept. 17-18, 2022

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Founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA), the Black Maternal Health Conference and Training InstituteTM (BMHC22) is the premiere assembly for Black women, clinicians, professionals, advocates, and other stakeholders working to improve maternal health using the birth justice, reproductive justice, and human rights frameworks. This year’s conference will be hybrid (virtual and in-person) and will offer a national space for learning, rich discussions, and mobilization to transform Black Maternal Health, rights, and justice. Virtual attendance option still available.

Learn More & Register

Improving Access to Maternal Health Care in Rural Communities Webinar

Sept. 23, 2022

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The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is hosting a webinar on improving access to maternal health care in rural communities. It will describe how hospital closures, shrinking budgets, a diminishing workforce and poorer health outcomes in rural areas are prompting policymakers to look for ways to boost maternal health care in the nation’s less-populated communities. This webinar will highlight strategies to improve access to maternity care in rural counties.

Learn More & Register

APHA 2022 Annual Meeting

Nov. 6-9, 2022

Creating health equity, meaning everyone has the opportunity to attain their highest level of health, is a guiding priority and core value of APHA. As we celebrate 150 years of APHA, we recognize the tremendous advancements in improving the health of all U.S. residents as well as persistent health disparities remain. Join the meeting to learn more about how addressing inequity is essential to APHA’s mission of achieving the healthiest nation in a generation.

RSVP to Attend

(Re)shaping Evaluation Together

Dec. 7-12, 2022

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The time for change is now. Evaluators have a responsibility to act with urgency to help transform the systems, policies, and practices that have created today’s challenges, and help build toward a more equitable, sustainable future. The (Re)shaping Evaluation Together Conference seeks to create a space to explore three significant shifts that are disrupting evaluation practice, and that will influence how the field theorizes and applies evaluation to evidence-informed decision making. Presented by the American Evaluation Association.

Learn More & Register

Institute of Healthcare Improvement Forum

In-Person Dec. 4-7, 2022

Virtual Dec. 13-15, 2022

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The IHI Forum is a 4-day conference that has been the home of quality improvement (QI) in health ​care for more than 30 years. It brings together health care visionaries, improvement professionals, world leaders, and industry newcomers.​ Sessions will center around nine topic tracks: ​Improvement Science, ​Building Improvement Capability, ​Leadership, ​Equity, ​Workforce and Patient Safety, ​Addressing Value, Cost, and Quality, Workforce Well-Being, ​Person-Centered Care, and ​Population Health. Early bird registration closes Sept. 7. IHI Forum and Scientific Symposium poster deadline is Oct. 31.

Learn More & Register
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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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