WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Jamie Raskin, David Trone and Glenn Ivey (all D-Md.) announced $5,230,218 to support better access to maternal health care across Maryland. This federal funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal Health Awards, will provide five maternal health programs with additional resources to combat maternal mortality and improve maternal and infant health outcomes, especially in underserved communities across the state.
“Our nation’s unacceptable maternal mortality rate has left far too many children to grow up without their mothers. Our health care system is failing pregnant women, especially Black and Latina women, who experience higher rates of pregnancy-related complications and death. As we continue our work in Congress to address the systemic drivers of maternal mortality, these investments to improve health care for women before, during and after pregnancy will help tackle health disparities, save moms’ lives and ensure more women can deliver healthy babies,” said the lawmakers.
The federal grants have been awarded as follows:
- $1,798,769 to the Maryland Department of Health to foster the development and demonstration of integrated maternal health services models;
- $1,670,233 to The Johns Hopkins University to reduce maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity through demonstrations focused on improving maternal health and addressing maternal health disparities through quality services, a skilled workforce, enhanced data quality and capacity, and innovative programming;
- $1,078,539 to Medstar Health Research Institute, Inc. in Hyattsville to improve health outcomes before, during and after pregnancy and reduce the well-documented racial/ethnic differences in rates of infant death and adverse perinatal outcomes;
- $483,400 to Morgan State University to help establish a multi-institutional research network that is comprised of and supports minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to build capacity to conduct research addressing disparities in maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity, and maternal health outcomes and to find community-based solutions to address these disparities and advance health equity;
- $199,277 to the Maryland Department of Health to support the capacity to implement Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) patient safety bundles and expand the reach, depth and quality of AIM implementation.
The lawmakers have long-supported efforts to strengthen maternal health care and reduce maternal mortality. They supported the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which included 12 bills to comprehensively address the drivers of the maternal health crisis and make critical investments in addressing the social determinants of health, funding community-based organizations, growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce and improving data collection processes. The legislation passed the House in 2021 as part of the Build Back Better Act but never made it to the President’s desk for signature. The lawmakers have continued to support strengthening maternal care through the annual appropriations process, including by securing $1.17 billion for the core Maternal and Child Health programs in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations package.
HRSA, located in North Bethesda, Maryland, is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.