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Faculty & Staff Honors

UNC: New Grant Will ‘Re-engineer Postnatal Care’ to Improve Maternal and Infant Outcomes

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Dr. Alison Stuebe and Dr. Kristin Tully, in collaboration with partners at North Carolina State University and The Ohio State University, have received a $2.5 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at the United States Department of Health and Human Services to improve health care services for new families after childbirth and during the transition home.

The goal of the 4-year project, ‘Re-engineering Postnatal Unit Care and the Transition Home to Reduce Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality,’ is to identify and define key unmet needs on postnatal units that contribute to poor maternal and infant outcomes and to create recommendations to improve safety and wellness.

Childbirth is the most common reason for hospitalization the United States, with more than 3.8 million women and their infants discharged from postnatal care each year. The project will enable a stronger start for families, offering a more integrated, value-based care model that can be shared across hospitals for widespread implementation.

Attention to postpartum maternal health is critical because more than half of pregnancy-related deaths occur after the day of birth, Dr. Stuebe says. The project’s primary goal is to reduce emergency department visits and hospital readmission up to 90 days postpartum for mothers and infants.

“Our goal is to ensure that all families are seen and heard in the days following birth,” says the Distinguished Professor of Infant and Young Child Feeding. “I am thrilled to collaborate with this incredible team to ensure that moms and babies are safely supported in their transition home from maternity care.”

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