Keynote Address by Dr. Rahul Gupta Strengthens Connections to Combat Urgent Health Crisis

Keynote Address by Dr. Rahul Gupta Strengthens Connections to Combat Urgent Health Crisis

We were honored to feature Dr. Rahul Gupta as our Keynote Speaker for the Standing Up for Mothers and Babies Awards event Friday October 25, 2019.  Dr. Gupta gained national recognition for his work as a Public Health Commissioner for West Virginia prior to being named Senior Vice President and Chief Medical and Health Officer at March of Dimes in 2018.

It was especially fitting this year as we celebrated our founding 20 years ago by volunteer and staff leadership of the local March of Dimes.  And even more importantly, featuring March of Dimes and Dr. Gupta strengthened the connection between local, state and national efforts to combat disparities in maternal and infant mortality.  Like Generate Health, March of Dimes has set a bold vision and mission for closing the health equity gaps for moms and babies.

After outlining the data illustrating the urgent health crisis that exists in our country and in Missouri, he shared key resources available through March of Dimes. A few are highlighted below.

  • The Premature Birth Report Card is an annual tool that helps states and local communities measure progress toward reducing premature birth.  The 2019 report was released this month in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month.  Click here to see Missouri’s report and learn more about what is behind the dismal data.
    • Missouri earned a D+
    • St. Louis City earned an F
    • St. Louis County earned a D-
  • Implicit Bias Training for Maternity Care Providers – Dr. Gupta announced new trainings to increase awareness and action to address implicit and explicit bias in maternity care settings.  In-person trainings and an e-learning option will be part of their effort to help improve patient experiences and overall quality of care. In early 2020, providers will be able to access the training by visiting the March of Dimes website.
  • The Prematurity Collaborative convenes a wide array of organizations to problem solve together, create solutions and drive improvements in preterm birth and equity using collective action, shared strategy and metrics.  The Collaborative is currently transitioning to a mom and baby network to expand its collective impact capacity. Individuals can sign up to join by visiting the March of Dimes website and completing this form.

Finally, Dr. Gupta outlined the March of Dimes’ advocacy successes and priorities for Missouri. Thanks in part to their efforts and leadership, Missouri passed legislation to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for substance use and mental health.  March of Dimes is a core partner in Missouri’s work to implement the AIM Program (Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health) to address maternal mortality and morbidity in our state.

Please join March of Dimes and Generate Health in supporting the following policies that will advance equity in maternal and infant health:

  • SUPPORT Missouri Medicaid Expansion Ballot Initiative (state)
    • Provides healthcare to people who have jobs without insurance and cannot afford to see a doctor.
    • Ensures Missouri brings back eligible federal funding to the state to provide critical healthcare, protect rural community hospitals, create jobs, and save money.
  • SUPPORT BIPARTISAN H.R. 4995, the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (federal)
    • Authorizes the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) program, to help ensure implementation of best practices and eliminate preventable maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity for every U.S. birth.
    • Addresses racial and ethnic health disparities through implicit bias training programs to eliminate and prevent discrimination in health care and improve cultural competency in provider-patient communications and the provision of care.
    • Supports state-based perinatal quality collaboratives (PQCs) working with providers, hospitals, and public health officials to provide the network and infrastructure to facilitate system-wide implementation of MMRC recommendations and best practices.
  • SUPPORT BIPARTISAN H.R. 4996, the Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Care Services Act (federal)
    • Incentivizes states to extend continuous Medicaid or CHIP eligibility for women up to one year postpartum.
    • Medicaid is the largest single payer of maternity care in U.S., covering 42.6% of births, however, pregnancy-related Medicaid ends roughly 60 days after the end of pregnancy.
    • As many MMRCs have found, and the CDC has confirmed, about 33% of pregnancy-related deaths occur between 7 days to one year following childbirth.
    • Closing the postpartum coverage gap can mean the difference between life and death for many mothers during such a critical time.

Generate Health is grateful for the opportunity to partner with March of Dimes nationally and locally.  Thank you, March of Dimes, for leading the fight for the health of all moms and babies.

Generate Health
1300 Hampton Ave., Suite 111
St. Louis, MO 63139
phone: (314) 880-5719
email: info@generatehealthstl.org
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