Maternal Mortality in New York
New York State (NYS) has one of the highest maternal death rates in the nation and the racial disparities are stark. NYS ranks 30th (lower-ranking indicates higher mortality) in the nation, with a rate of 20.6 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2018.
Racial disparities are heightened in New York City (NYC) where black women are 12 times more likely than white women to suffer a pregnancy-related death
Following recent reports documenting the shockingly high levels of maternal mortality right here in our backyard, Saving Mothers' team embarked upon an extensive review of the current interventions in place to address this issue in New York State and assessed their effectiveness. We are pleased to announce that the resulting paper has just been published in the prestigious Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine.
Key Findings: Hospital-based programs have not sufficiently decreased maternal deaths and while community programs show promise, comprehensive data is lacking.
Conclusion: Thoughtfully constructed community-based interventions combined with longer-term hospital-based interventions could effect real change in this area.
mPOWHER Kit Program
Saving Mothers has partnered with Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership (NMPP) to launch the first New York City-based pregnancy health literacy program. With a unique model of training community health workers and empowering the women they serve, called mPOWHER kit program, to help reduce maternal deaths and birth-related complications.
Our program will promote comprehensive health literacy education for pregnant women through maternal health kits, which will provide information about healthy pregnancy, complications, labor, and post-partum. The kit will also discuss risk factors – including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes – that contribute to deadly complications seen in the United States, such as pulmonary embolism and preeclampsia. As well as, train community health workers with using the same toolkit to emphasizes building trust with and identifying high-risk complications and comorbidities for pregnant women.
We hope to understand if these mPOWHER toolkits centered around maternal health is a feasible intervention for the women in New York City, as well as acceptable and culturally appropriate.
For much of the past year, Saving Mothers worked with community health workers (CHWs) from the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership. Amital Isaac conducted an interview with Asia Toure, one of the CHWs we worked closely with as part of our NYC mPOWHER Program. Read on to learn more about who community health workers are, what…