This week, HCIF joins other organizations and individuals across the country to commemorate Black Maternal Health Week, a week of awareness, activism and community-building. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “It wasn’t until the last few years that the public learned that the United States is the only country with a rising maternal mortality rate, surpassing every other developing country in the world, in addition to the significant health disparities that exist for Black women.”
After having spent a large part of my career in maternal child health, I feel especially committed to this work. I started my nursing career working in a variety of maternal child health roles, providing care to patients living in impoverished communities – labor and delivery nurse, childbirth educator, prenatal care coordinator and post-partum nurse. It was through this work that I saw firsthand the adversities that women face, but also the strength and courage so many individuals exhibited in overcoming the many obstacles. I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to stay involved in advancing the health of women in my role at HCIF and supporting a number of improvement collaboratives. It’s been incredibly rewarding to work with so many dedicated and passionate individuals and teams.
Although we have a long way to go to reach our goals of eliminating disparities and improving Black maternal health, I am encouraged by the conversations that this campaign promotes, the work of ACOG and other leading organizations that have made this a priority, the collaboratives that continue to demonstrate the power of partnerships, the on-going commitment of providers, and the undeniable strength of women.