Improving Health for Black Mothers

April 12, 2021
During Black Maternal Health Week, we are reminded of the unacceptable—and largely preventable—disparities that exist for Black women.

Maryland’s maternal mortality rate of 24.8 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (measured 2013-2017) ranks our state 22nd in the U.S. The rate for Black Marylanders is roughly four times higher.

The health of mothers and children is the foundation for wellness in adulthood, and for too long has not been equal.

As part of our Total Cost of Care Model the State produced a Statewide Integrated Health Improvement Strategy (SIHIS), which includes three population health priorities, including maternal and child health. Maryland committed to reduce the overall severe maternal morbidity rate by 19% by 2026. The key is to close the racial gap by lowering the Black (non-Hispanic) rate by 20%.

In the Maryland General Assembly, MHA and your own organizations are furthering those efforts.

We advocated for legislation to extend Medicaid coverage for low-income women from 60 days to one year postpartum. MHA also supported expanding the Maryland Prenatal and Infant Care Grant Program Fund to improve access to care for uninsured and underinsured women. These bills complement the state’s life-saving goal to reduce rates of severe maternal morbidity and to close the persistent racial and ethnic disparity gap.

Through our SIHIS commitment, our advocacy, and your dedicated efforts we will help all mothers and babies in Maryland to get the best possible care and outcomes.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO 
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