The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has invested nearly $1 million to improve maternal health in Alabama. Funding aims to help reduce disparities in maternal outcomes and support the state in tackling inequities in maternal health.
“Today, Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause in this country than White women. That has to change,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “To make meaningful change, we need to center our work on the individuals and families we are serving, and that is what today’s investments aim to do. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to prioritizing equity and reducing the unacceptable disparities in maternal and infant health. Through these awards, we are taking additional action to implement the Blueprint that the President and Vice President have laid out for driving impactful solutions and providing our nation’s families with the support and resources they need to lead healthy lives.”
The Health Resources and Services Administration is awarding nearly $1 million to the University of Alabama at Birmingham through its State Maternal Health Innovation Program to create a state-led maternal health task force bringing the voices of key leaders and pregnant and postpartum individuals together and using state-specific maternal health data to develop and use innovative approaches to address the most pressing maternal health needs and address disparities in health outcomes. Innovations can cover four categories: provision of direct clinical care, workforce training, maternal health data enhancements, and community engagement.
About 700 people die each year during pregnancy or in the year after. Thousands of women each year have unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery with serious short- or long-term health consequences. Rural populations tend to have worse maternal health outcomes than individuals living in urban areas, and there are disparities experienced by racial and ethnic groups.
Alabama has the nation’s third-worst maternal death rate. Each year, nearly 40 new mothers in the state die within one year after delivery. The toll on Black mothers is nearly three times that of white moms.