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Maternal death rates and inequities in the United States are high — and on the rise. 

A young African American mother in a hospital gown gently holds her infant in her arms and smiles down at her. The baby's eyes are closed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the likelihood of death from pregnancy-related causes among birthing persons who identify as Black, American Indian, or Alaska Native is two to three times higher compared to their White counterparts. Academic medicine has a unique role to play in the multisector collaborations needed to reverse these trends through policy, research, and action.

Our Approach

The AAMC is committed to a multipronged approach to avoid all preventable maternal deaths and improve maternal health and health equity around the country. The AAMC Center for Health Justice develops resources, convenes experts, and strengthens efforts around maternal health. Through equitable partnerships with communities, the center will work to understand the severity and complexity of maternal health disparities, advocate for policy solutions, and support innovative research for interventions to eliminate inequities that threaten the health and well-being of all birthing persons.

Resources

AAMC Maternal Health External Work Group (established in 2019)

This multidisciplinary network of experts in and beyond academic medicine, convened monthly by AAMC CHARGE (the Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence), serves as a hub where participants can share ideas and resources, funding opportunities, events, achievements, and news related to maternal health equity interests and initiatives.

Maternal Health Incubator (expected to launch in 2022)

This initiative will identify and convene teaching hospitals, community partners, and other stakeholders who are currently engaged in evidence-based clinical, research, policy, and educational efforts to narrow racial and ethnic maternal health inequities.

Maternal Health Impact Assessments

The center will conduct a series of maternal health impact assessments to evaluate the potential health effects of proposed plans, projects, or policies before they are developed or implemented. It will also provide practical recommendations to increase positive and minimize negative maternal outcomes.

The AAMC Maternal Health Fact Sheet (PDF) highlights the efforts that the AAMC and its member institutions have undertaken to combat the maternal health crisis and strengthen the systems that improve the health of birthing persons and infants.