MHcolorIconMaternal Mortality

Reducing Maternal Mortality and Perinatal Failures

Together we are working to identify the root causes of maternal mortality and better understand how we can as a region support and care for moms and families through the entirety of their care. To do that, we are exploring innovative models of care, workforce roles, policy and payment reforms, and research opportunities from around the globe.

The Problem

 Maternal mortality is a public health crisis with serious disparities. The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is nearly three times higher than in any other peer nation, and it is rising at a time when other countries are reducing maternal deaths. In the U.S., maternal mortality rates are nearly four times higher for black women than for white women. Nearly 60% of maternal deaths in the U.S. could be prevented through reasonable changes to patient, community, provider, facility, and/or systems factors.

To address the maternal mortality crisis, the Health Activist Network has partnered with the advocates and experts in women’s health and wellness who comprise the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal). We want to build an inclusive coalition that uses advocacy, research, training, quality improvement, technical assistance, and community input to create enhanced, comprehensive care delivery and payment models for maternal health.


The data driving us:

  • The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is almost three times higher than any other developed country.
  • Pennsylvania ranks 21st in the United States in terms of maternal mortality rates. (2016 United Health Foundation)
  • Pennsylvania recently passed a Maternal Mortality Review Committee, a formalized, multidisciplinary committee to review maternal deaths and develop prevention strategies.


We need to figure out why our rates are high, why Pennsylvania is middle of the pack, and identify ways to collaborate and motivate people, and our health systems, to make changes that better support moms and families.