July 11, 2022

B.I.R.T.H Equity Maryland

Nationwide, Black mothers are twice as likely as others to suffer pregnancy complications and three to four times more likely to die as a result.

Maryland is no exception. And with our population being 32% Black (versus 12.5% for the U.S.) the adverse impact is more pronounced here.

To tackle these unacceptable, long-standing disparities, Maryland is making maternal health a priority. Under our Total Cost of Care Model, the state committed to the ambitious goal of lowering severe maternal morbidity by almost 20% by 2026.

Together, MHA and our members successfully advocated for the General Assembly to pass legislation that expands Medicaid coverage to more mothers and children—regardless of immigration status, and up to a year post-partum—and that extends implicit bias training requirements across your organizations.

MHA, through a new partnership with the Maryland Patient Safety Center, also is creating tools to educate non-obstetric providers on their roles in lowering the disparity in maternal morbidity for Black mothers.

B.I.R.T.H. Equity Maryland was shaped by an advisory group of experts in maternal health, emergency medicine, family practice, community health, racial bias, and health care equity. The program launched in May at select pilot sites, including the emergency departments at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center and primary care offices, and through Baltimore Healthy Start.
As this initiative progresses, we will share learnings and outcomes with the field to improve health and health care for moms and their babies.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO