In the United States, mothers are dying. A recent America’s Health Rankings report listed the U.S. as having the highest maternal mortality rate in the world among developed countries.
Now, with a total of $13 million in funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), three faculty members in the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health will implement the Supporting Maternal Health Innovation Program.
Dr. Dorothy Cilenti, associate professor of maternal and child health, Dr. Sarah Verbiest, adjunct faculty in maternal and child health, and Dr. Alison Stuebe, Distinguished Scholar in Infant and Young Child Feeding, will work to create a premier resource center that leverages existing expertise in maternal and child health systems.
“We will establish a nationally prominent resource center that will offer training, technical assistance and capacity-building to states. This will accelerate the translation of knowledge to practice in order to improve maternal health outcomes and decrease disparities,” says Dr. Cilenti. “We will build upon the existing National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center and the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health to provide training, collaborative learning, coaching and consultation to states, which will be tailored to each state’s context.”
With $2.6 million per year for a five-year period, Drs. Cilenti, Verbiest and Stuebe will provide capacity building assistance to HRSA’s many maternal health grantees and other stakeholders, who are part of a collaborative effort to address disparities in maternal health and improve maternal health outcomes across the country.