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How can we eliminate preventable pregnancy-related deaths?

Supporting the CDC ERASE Maternal Mortality Initiative

Challenge

The U.S. has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality among high-income countries. There are many causes of these deaths, and they vary by race/ethnicity and other demographics. Social drivers of health and system-level factors are significant contributing factors to pregnancy-related deaths, with more than 80% being preventable.

To eliminate preventable pregnancy-related deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ERASE Maternal Mortality (ERASE MM) initiative supports Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) across the country to review the deaths and identify prevention opportunities. To accomplish their work, MMRCs need stakeholders to understand the different sources of maternal mortality data, how to use the data, and the importance of MMRC data in promoting solutions.

Solution

The goal of the project is to strengthen the ERASE MM initiative. To do this, Westat provides communications, training and instructional design, and technical and administrative support to the CDC Maternal Mortality Prevention Team (MMPT) of the ERASE MM initiative.

For communications, the Westat team audits and assesses existing ERASE MM communications materials and develops annual communication plans to address the findings.

For training and instructional design, the team audits and assesses existing written materials and live trainings and recommends changes to current materials and new materials through annual training plans. The team also plans and executes the annual ERASE MM national meeting with the MMPT.  

Results

The Westat team will develop messages and materials to increase awareness and understanding of maternal mortality and the work of the MMRCs. Because of the importance of data in understanding maternal mortality, there is a focus on identifying the available maternal mortality data and how to use and interpret the data.

The training components will facilitate learning and access to important information for the MMRC team members. The annual meetings will facilitate learning, sharing of new information, and networking among the MMRC members, the MMPT, and national partners.

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