Program Impact

DC Safe Babies Safe Moms Community Impact

Committed to creating sustainable change in maternal health in Washington, DC

Improving maternal and infant health outcomes is one of the most urgent challenges facing the District of Columbia.

Washington, DC has some of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the country. Black birthing people are at much greater risk of poor maternal health outcomes than their white counterparts, even when education and employment levels are similar.

Through the DC Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative and critical partnerships with community partners Community of Hope and Mamatoto Village, we are working to create a continuum of care that ensures birthing people, their babies, and their families receive the resources they need to thrive from pregnancy through early childhood, regardless of race or neighborhood.

Our Goal

Reduce maternal and infant mortality in Washington, DC by 25% in the next five years

Impact to Date

DC Safe Babies Safe Moms By The Numbers

  • 37,000+

    patients’ lives touched


  • 12,500+

    babies born under our care


  • 324

    patients supported through our medical-legal partnership


  • 30

    perinatal care coordinators, diabetes educators, and social workers added to staff


  • 530+

    pregnant patients without
    established pediatrician receiving pediatric care options


  • $10,700

    worth of transportation support provided


  • 97%

    of pre-pregnancy patients
    received tobacco cessation
    counseling in the last year


  • 95%

    of birthing persons screened for social risk factors during the prenatal and postpartum periods in the last year 


  • 97%

    of prenatal patients received breastfeeding education in the last year


  • 99%

    of high-risk birthing individuals connected to tailored care pathways in the last year


* As of March 2024

Program Milestones to Date

  • September 2023: Selected as a 2023 Commitment to Action project by the Clinton Global Initiative 

  • January 2023: Highlighted as a resource in The Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert and Quick Safety on national maternal health, health equity, and mental health

  • August 2022: Community of Hope Family Health Birthing Center opens

  • April 2022: Mamatoto Village providing lactation services at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

  • March 2022: OB Specialty Services at MedStar Washington Hospital Center opens to offer comprehensive perinatal care services in one integrated clinic

  • February 2022: Community of Hope announces high-risk obstetrics specialist at Community of Hope’s Conway Health and Resource Center in Ward 8.

  • September 2021: Pediatricians Prenatal available during pregnancy

  • September 2021: Expanded access to BabyScripts and remote hypertension monitoring

  • June 2021: Integrated social determinants of health screenings and referrals across the full spectrum of perinatal care delivery

  • May 2021: Community of Hope launches onsite sonography services with three hand-held ultrasound machines, dramatically increasing accessibility to sonography services in Wards 7 and 8

  • April 2021: Perinatal Legal Assistance Well-Being Project (PLAW) at Women's and Infants' Services

  • April 2021: Received national designation as a ZERO TO THREE HealthySteps site

  • Early Spring 2021: Intergrated Behavioral Health staff expansion at all three MedStar sites

  • January 2021: Began offering embedded continuous learning around cultural sensitivity, implicit bias, and trauma-informed practice for all care team members

  • November 2020: Launch

Insights and Research on Improving Maternal Health Outcomes

The D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms medical and research teams focus on perinatal health as a pathway to medical innovation and research. Our team contributes to informed policy decisions, best practices, and improved infant and maternal health. Below are key publications from our team to inform best practices and advocate for policies aimed at improving maternal and infant health in the U.S.