On December 9th at 12:00 p.m. Central Time, Children’s Advocates for Change will host a Helen R. Weigle Policy Forum on racial and ethnic disparities in maternal mortality rates.
In 2020, the maternal mortality rate nationally for non-Hispanic Black women was 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, 2.9 times the rate for non-Hispanic White women. Furthermore, the rates have been increasing between 2018 and 2020.
In Illinois, 2016-2018 data shows a death rate of 47 per 100,000 for Black women and 16 per 100,000 for white women.
Among the topics to be discussed during the forum:
- Awareness among pregnant women of pre-natal nutrition steps, the impact of smoking and drinking, and the need for regular medical check-ups. How is the information conveyed to women?
- Access to regular medical care during pregnancy.
- Treatment by health care professionals during pregnancy – the impact of
Children’s Advocates for Change President Dr. Tasha Green Cruzat will moderate a panel discussion on these topics. Panelists include:
Vernice Davis Anthony, BSN, MPH, CEO of VDA Health Connect whose career has included working as the City of Detroit Public Health Department’s director and the director of the Michigan Department of Public Health.
Kylea Laina Liese, PhD, CNM, of the University of Illinois Chicago whose current research focuses on health system structures and obstetric racism that drive disparities in maternal health and mortality
Another of the items to be examined is how the state should build and maintain its public health system going forward. The pandemic illustrated health care deserts where the lack of care, in part, precipitated greater health risks due to COVID-19.
You can register for the event by clicking here: https://bit.ly/maternalhealthforum.
 IDPH Office of Women’s Health and Family Services, May 2021