MedStar Health Celebrates Black Maternal Health Week

MedStar Health Celebrates Black Maternal Health Week

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A professional African American woman has her hand on her pregnant belly as she walks in a city.

MedStar Family Choice hosts one-day event to raise awareness of risks associated with poor birth outcomes

BALTIMORE – MedStar Health joins the national effort to raise awareness and strengthen the maternal health of black and brown women with a free, public event in conference rooms DEF at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, April 16th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

The event celebrates national Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW), which is held every April 11-17, to encourage all community members to take a role to improve maternal outcomes and help prevent pregnancy-related deaths.

“Black women in this country, are three times more likely to die as a result of something related to their pregnancy, than white women,” said event organizer, Jocelyn Chisholm Carter, J.D. president of MedStar Family Choice, MedStar Health’s managed care organization. “The reasons are varied. It can be a matter of not getting quality healthcare, having untreated chronic health conditions, structural racism, unconscious biases. Simply put, ethnic minority groups don’t always have fair opportunities for physical and emotional health.”

Among the speakers, Stuart M. Levine, MD, FACP, hospital president and senior vice president, MedStar Health, and Stephen R. T. Evans, MD, executive vice president medical affairs and chief medical officer for the MedStar Health system, will share ways MedStar Health is providing holistic maternal health care that is free from bias and discrimination.
These include:

  • Standardizing comprehensive care and emergency responsiveness
  • Providing the highest quality of prenatal and postpartum care for all patients
  • Train non-obstetric care providers to obtain thorough patient history related to pregnancy
  • Increase access to and coverage of comprehensive high-quality maternal health services, including behavioral health services

Additionally, Karyn Wills, MD, chief medical officer for MedStar Family Choice, will address the current state of black maternal health in the nation, in Maryland and in Baltimore.

“By identifying and addressing unconscious bias in healthcare and improving the delivery of quality prenatal and postpartum care for all members, we can change the trajectory of maternal health stats for Black and Brown people in our communities,” Jocelyn added.