Safe Babies Mom’s Program | Washington, DC | MedStar Health

D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms is committed to improving the health and well-being of mothers and infants in Washington, D.C.

Made possible by the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, DC Safe Babies Safe Moms is a partnership between MedStar Health, Community of Hope, and Mamatoto Village that addresses disparities in maternal and infant care in Washington, DC.

Putting each family at the center of their care before, during, and after pregnancy and until the child reaches age three, our approach combines the expertise of MedStar Health, evidence-based healthcare, and proven community-centric support services. We bring together partners from MedStar Health and the community to provide an interdisciplinary, multigenerational health and support services for birthing people and their families, including:

  • Women’s and Infants’ Services, MedStar Washington Hospital Center

  • Family Medicine, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

  • Community Pediatrics, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

  • Community of Hope, a D.C. cornerstone for families in need, offering housing, health, and workforce development supports

  • Mamatoto Village, a non-profit organization devoted to creating career pathways for women of color in the field of public health and human services, while providing accessible perinatal support services designed to empower women to make the most informed decisions in maternity care, parenting, and daily living

  • MedStar Health Research Institute’s Healthcare Delivery Research Network to examine the effectiveness and identify opportunities for interventions to further improve how we deliver care during the perinatal journey

  • Click here to learn more about D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action Project “AI/ML Learning to Reduce Maternal and Infant Health Disparities"

The Safe Babies Safe Moms Initiative impacts the D.C. community

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Our clinical experts share how the partnership with the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation has created the Safe Babies Safe Moms Initiative to serve our Washington, D.C. region. Thanks to the transformational philanthropic partnership, this initiative has become a reality.


  • Prenatal and postpartum care
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Social Determinants of Health screening
  • Behavioral Health screening
  • Social services
  • Legal services


Women's and Infants' Services, MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Check out our new Ob/Gyn Specialty Care Center!


Family Medicine, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Community Pediatrics, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Community of Hope Administrative Offices
202-944-7747, 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line: 202-540-9857

  • Conway Health and Resource Center 4 Atlantic Street SW, Washington, DC 20032
  • Family and Health Birth Center, 801 17th Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
  • Marie Reed Health Center, 2155 Champlain Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • The Commons At Stanton Square, 2375 Elvans Rd SE, Washington, DC 20020

Mamatoto Village, 4315 Sheriff Rd NE­, Washington DC 20019
Main: 202-248-3434, Intake: 202-248-2877

Program Leadership

  • Loral Patchen, CNM, PhD

    Loral Patchen
  • Matthew Biel, MD

    Matthew Biel

    Matthew Biel, MD, MSc, is Professor, Vice Chair, and Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Biel has clinical interests in child development, trauma and resilience, mood and anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and psychiatric care of children with medical illnesses. He leads a range of community-based research initiatives and is Co-Director of the Early Childhood Innovation Network. Dr. Biel has published numerous articles and book chapters addressing access to mental health care for underserved populations, trauma and resilience, and family factors in child mental health care. Dr. Biel is an Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He is very active in medical student and psychiatric residency training.

    Dr. Biel studied history and Spanish at Amherst College before receiving his MD and MSc in community medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed residency and fellowship training in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.

  • Janine Rethy, MD, MPH


    Since 2017, Janine A. Rethy, MD, MPH, FAAP, has served as Division Chief, Community Pediatrics, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She is also Medical Director of the KIDS Mobile Medical Clinic/Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® and its new FITNESS Program. She is the Director of Medical Education for Community Pediatrics.

    Dr. Rethy has extensive experience implementing and evaluating best-practice solutions in community and preventive health as well as health systems transformations in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. Throughout her career, she has been committed to decreasing health disparities, helping families and communities to become healthy and thrive, and teaching the next generation of community-oriented health care providers. She is particularly interested in reducing pediatric obesity, increasing breastfeeding, integrating social determinants into the primary care setting, and optimizing health systems delivery and clinical-community linkages.

    Dr. Rethy is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and serves the American Academy of Pediatrics as a Childhood Obesity Advisor for Continuing Health.

  • Michelle Roett, MD

    Michelle Roett
  • Angela Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA

    Angela Thomas

    Angela D. Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA, brings nearly 20 years of experience in the scientific and administrative leadership of translational and clinical research from Federal and non-Federal sponsors. She currently serves as the vice president of healthcare delivery research at MedStar Health Research Institute.

    Dr. Thomas is responsible for leading a team of experts to apply rigorous scientific methods to enable next-generation healthcare delivery through quality, safety, innovation, health economics, payment reform, outcomes, health services research, data science, and health equity. This team of healthcare delivery experts lead, implement, and evaluate data-driven solutions that support policies and programs that improve healthcare in a manner that integrates science with the clinical and operational expertise required to meet patient and community needs. Dr. Thomas also ensures that these research activities leverage the collective leadership and unique strengths of MedStar Health and Georgetown University.

    Dr. Thomas’ research interests focus on health equity and patient safety. In March 2020, the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation funded $27 Million of the $30 Million Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative. As the Executive Leader of this program, Dr. Thomas has overall responsibility for ensuring the development, implementation, and evaluation of an evidence-based program that will reduce disparities in maternal and infant mortality in Washington, DC. In addition, she contributes her research expertise in disparities, health equity, and patient safety to the initiative to uncover the contributing factors leading to disparities in maternal and infant harm. Through her previous work at the University of Michigan, Dr. Thomas served as a key member of the Pelvic Floor Research Group in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology where she published and presented, both nationally and internationally, on research related to urinary incontinence in women. Dr. Thomas gained valuable research expertise in using qualitative and quantitative survey methods to understand the context of racial disparities in urinary incontinence, which ultimately won an award from the International Continence Society. With a scientific and administrative career spanning nearly two decades, Dr. Thomas has extensive expertise executing all aspects of research projects, including retrospective data analysis, chart review and abstraction, recruitment and retention, and overall project leadership. She has hands-on experience with both qualitative and quantitative research methods as well as extensive experience analyzing user data from electronic health records, patient safety event management systems, AHRQ patient safety indicators, extraction of severe maternal morbidity cases, using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Global Trigger method, statistical analyses, and disseminating research findings through journal articles, conference presentations, and technical reports. Dr. Thomas’ research has been funded by the Latham Foundation, published in several peer-reviewed academic journals, and covered by media outlets such as Modern Healthcare and WTOP.

    Dr. Thomas received a Bachelor of Science in biopsychology and the cognitive sciences from the University of Michigan. She received a Master of Public Health in health behavior and health education, also from the University of Michigan. Later, she received her Master of Business Administration from the Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration and her Doctor of Public Health in Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health from the University of South Florida.


Program Impact

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