New York City Launches Initiative to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Maternal Death

A Central Brooklyn hospital featured in ProPublica and NPR’s “Lost Mothers” series for its high hemorrhage rate will serve as a pilot for quality reforms.

In response to alarming racial disparities, New York City announced a new initiative last week to reduce maternal deaths and complications among women of color. Under the new plan, the city will improve the data collection on maternal deaths and complications, fund implicit bias training for medical staff at private and public hospitals, and launch a public awareness campaign.

Over the next three years, the city will spend $12.8 million on the initiative, with the goal of eliminating the black-white racial disparity in deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth and cutting the number of complications in half within five years.

“We recognize these are ambitious goals, but they are not unrealistic,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, New York City’s deputy mayor for health and human services. “It’s an explicit recognition of the urgency of this issue and puts the goal posts in front of us.”

The city’s health department is targeting nearly two dozen public and private hospitals over four years, focusing on neighborhoods with the highest complication rates, including the South Bronx, North and Central Brooklyn, and East and Central Harlem. Hospital officials will study data from cases that led to bad outcomes, and staff will participate in drills aimed at helping them recognize and treat those complications.

Health department officials approached SUNY Downstate Medical Center in May to serve as a pilot site for many of the new measures.

 

The Central Brooklyn hospital was featured in the “Lost Mothers” series published by ProPublica and NPR last year as one of the starkest examples of racial disparities among hospitals in three states, according to our analysis of over 1 million births in Florida, Illinois and New York. In the second half of last year, two women, both black, died shortly after delivering at SUNY Downstate from causes that experts have said are preventable. The public, state-run hospital has one of the highest complication rates for hemorrhage in the city.

“We look forward to working with all of our partners to provide quality maternal health care for expectant mothers,” said hospital spokesperson Dawn Skeete-Walker.

“SUNY Downstate serves a unique and diverse population in Brooklyn where many of our expectant mothers are from a variety of different backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures.”

The city will also specifically target its own public hospitals, which are run by NYC Health + Hospitals, training staff on how to better identify and treat hemorrhage and blood clots, two leading causes of maternal death.

The initiative is “aimed at using an approach that encourages folks to have a sense of accountability without finger pointing or blame, and that encourages hospitals to be active participants to identify practices that would benefit from improvement,” said Palacio.

In addition to training, the city’s public hospitals will hire maternal care coordinators who will assist high-risk pregnant women with their appointments, prescriptions and public health benefits. Public hospitals will also work to strengthen prenatal and postpartum care, including conducting hemorrhage assessments, establishing care plans, and providing contraceptive counselling, breastfeeding support and screening for maternal depression.

Starting in 2019, the health department plans to launch a maternal safety public awareness campaign in partnership with grassroots organizations.

“This is a positive first step in really being able to address the concerns of women of color and pregnant women,” said Chanel Porchia-Albert, founder and executive director of Ancient Song Doula Services, which is based in New York City. “There need to be accountability measures that are put in place that stress the community as an active participant and stakeholder.”

The city’s initiative is the latest in a wave of maternal health reforms following the “Lost Mothers” series. Over the past few months, the U.S. Senate has proposed $50 million in funding to reduce maternal deaths, and several states have launched review committees to examine birth outcomes.

As ProPublica and NPR reported, between 700 and 900 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth in the United States every year, and tens of thousands more experience severe complications. The rate of maternal death is substantially higher in the United States than in other affluent nations, and has climbed over the past decade, mostly driven by the outcomes of women of color.

While poverty and inadequate access to health care explain part of the racial disparity in maternal deaths, research has shown that the quality of care at hospitals where black women deliver plays a significant role as well. ProPublica added to research that has found that women who deliver at disproportionately “black-serving” hospitals are more likely to experience serious complications — from emergency hysterectomies to birth-related blood clots — than mothers who deliver at institutions that serve fewer black women.

 

In New York City, the racial disparity in maternal outcomes is among the largest in the nation, and it’s growing. According to a recent report from New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, even as the overall maternal mortality rate across the city has decreased, the gap between black and white mothers has widened.

Regardless of their education, obesity or poverty level, black mothers in New York City are at a higher risk of harm than their white counterparts. Black mothers with a college education fare worse than women of all other races who dropped out of high school. Black women of normal weight have higher rates of harm than obese women of all other races. And black women who reside in the wealthiest neighborhoods have worse outcomes than white, Asian and Hispanic mothers in the poorest ones.

“If you are a poor black woman, you don’t have access to quality OBGYN care, and if you are a wealthy black women, like Serena Williams, you get providers who don’t listen to you when you say you can’t breathe,” said Patricia Loftman, a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives Board of Directors who worked for 30 years as a certified nurse-midwife in Harlem. “The components of this initiative are very aggressive and laudable to the extent that they are forcing hospital departments to talk about implicit bias.”

Advertisements

Doctor in Queens, NY Delivers Breech Babies!

Great news from the community of Birth workers in New York that has many of us shouting for joy and some of us just glad the news is out.

As a student of midwifery I have learned enough about breech deliveries to know that delivering babies breech is very possible when educated in the proper techniques. It is all to normal for me to be shocked upon hearing news that an obstetrician in a hospital has delivered healthy babies who’ve been in a breech position.

My path to midwifery is leading me up a road led by ground shaking, standard setting, statistic proving, midwives known to be the Farm Midwives of Summertown, Tennessee who have pioneered modern day midwifery and gained the respect back for the ancient practice. My education with these wonderful woman has allowed me to learn about the different techniques that are used to delivery breech babies. These techniques are not generally taught in Universities anymore to students of Maternal-Fetal Medicine & Obstetrics & Gynecology. Reasons such as this is why many women are opting to study the ancient craft of midwifery to gain the hands on experience as well as the educational portion of the practice instead of just going to a University and only learning everything from a text.

I am grateful to have wonderful teachers that prepare me for a career of unexpected events that will allow me to save lives and empower a mum through her labor.

With the sketchy laws in NYC still tippy toeing around midwifery being illegal depending on what certification the Professional has. It is good to know that mums who op’t for hospital births can trust that some OBGYNs are prepared for the unexpected at birth without having to consider unnecessary interventions.

 

For Mum’s expecting and or possibly having a breech delivery, here is the Dr. you should know about…
Dr Georges Sylvestre at Flushing Hospital.
He accepts all insurance including Medicaid.
He accepts a transfer of care at 38 weeks.

2SQHN_w120h160_v9320

I Hate Average Podcast – Average Jay

Ep. 15 Yasmintheresa Garcia Founder of the IbiOp App
Published on Sep 12, 2016

“We’re back took a little break for labor day hope you all enjoyed. Excited about the direction of the show and its only getting better! Today we had a chance to speak with Yasmintheresa Garcia she lets us know the origin of her work as a Doula. Describes her passion for help and informing our community about pregnancy and other health concerns. Excited to talk about the launch of her new App IbiOp where people can easily find information on Doulas and Midwives near them.”

Check us out on IG: @ihateaveragepodcast

Twitter/SC: @ihateaveragejay

Check out our website for some writings and more episode info:  Averagejay.com

The New York Amsterdam News — Millennial doula

The 21st century lends itself to a shift in the role of women in society. Inspirational women have been around for centuries, with the 1990s giving birth to the next generation of creative and exceptional female activists.

At 24 years old, Yasmintheresa Garcia is one such outstanding individual. A Brooklyn native born to Afro-Dominican parents, she recognized her calling as a doula from a very young age. In addition to successfully managing her own doula practice, Ythedoula, Garcia is a midwife in training, community activist and vegan health coach. Doulas are not medically licensed.

Garcia gained interest in the vocation at the age of 12, when a number of fellow students became pregnant. “I started giving them advice and giving them emotional and educational support that they needed that they weren’t receiving from the community they lived in,” said Garcia in an interview.

Community uplift and female education is the reason Garcia has created a get together called Ythegirlshangout. A group for women of all ages and backgrounds come together in a sacred space to discuss everything from financial literacy to career goals and body images. “Things that we in our culture wouldn’t normally speak of in our household,” said Garcia.

Click to continue to read the rest of the article published; Or pick up your paper copy out now!

new-arrows12-150x150.png

http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2016/aug/25/millennial-doulayasmintheresa-garcia/#at_pco=smlwn-1.0&at_si=57bef933ff280040&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=0&at_tot=1