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News & Announcements

March 16, 2023: CDC Releases Updated 2021 Maternal Mortality Rates

The latest data on maternal mortality rates in the US show an increase to 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2021, compared with a rate of 23.8 in 2020 and 20.1 in 2019. "The maternal mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black (subsequently, Black) women was 69.9 deaths per 100,000 live births, 2.6 times the rate for non-Hispanic White (subsequently, White) women (26.6). Rates for Black women were significantly higher than rates for White and Hispanic women. The increases from 2020 to 2021 for all race and Hispanic-origin groups were significant." See below for the full CDC report, news articles, and a research article discussing this new data.

Read the CDC report HERE

Read the Green Journal paper Changes in Pregnancy-Related Mortality Associated With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic in the United States HERE

Read the New York Times article COVID Worsened a Maternal Mortality Crisis in the U.S. HERE

Read the Wall Street Journal article U.S. Maternal Mortality Hits Highest Level Since 1965 HERE

February 23, 2023: Betsy Lehman Center Announces the BLC- PNQIN- TeamBirth Partnership for the Maternal Equity Bundle

Excerpt: "Audra Meadows, M.D., M.P.H., Lead for PNQIN’s Maternal Equity Bundle, says, 'It’s exciting to have this work moving forward across Massachusetts. Our ultimate goal is to support birth hospital teams in ensuring perinatal quality and excellence for all, which means we need to look at outcomes for sub-populations by race, ethnicity, language, etc., to support their needs for an optimal birth experience and outcome.'"

Read the full press release HERE

January 19, 2023: Department of Public Health Announces First Cases of Concerning Gonorrhea Strain

Excerpt: "The Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced it has detected a novel strain of gonorrhea in a Massachusetts resident that showed reduced response to multiple antibiotics and another case with genetic markers that indicate a similar drug response. This is the first time that resistance or reduced response to five classes of antibiotics has been identified in gonorrhea in the United States. Both cases in Massachusetts were successfully cured with ceftriaxone, the antibiotic currently recommended to treat gonorrhea." 


Read the full press release HERE!

Fall 2022: NNPQC releases a video highlighting 13 CDC funded PQCs, including PNQIN 

The "Nationwide Efforts to Improve Birthing Outcomes" video that captures the work and accomplishments of the 13 PQCs funded by CDC from 2017-2022 and highlights the importance of the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC).

Watch the video HERE

Read the Project Impact Statement HERE

February 10th, 2022: NEJM publishes perspective on racial biology and medical misconceptions

Excerpt: "In 2016, Hoffman et al. documented ongoing racial misconceptions held by medical students and residents. The authors showed a series of statements concerning biologic differences between groups described as “Blacks” and “Whites”... A closer reading of the article, however, reveals the true depth of the challenge: throughout the introduction and discussion, the terms “Black” and “White” are used as if they referred to true biologic entities, not the socially defined groups these terms actually identify.


Therein lies the largest racial misconception still operative in the medical community: socially defined races continue to be viewed as if they are accurate reflections of biologic variation within our species."

Click HERE to read more!

January 17th, 2022: A comprehensive report on Racism and Racial Inequities in Health for Massachusetts released

In December 2021, Blue Cross Blue Shield created a report titled "Racism and Racial Inequities in Health: A Data-Informed Primer on Health Disparities in Massachusetts". We are pleased to share the PDF with you here and an excerpt from the Executive Summary below:

"This primer was developed to serve as a foundational resource to broaden the collective understanding of racial and ethnic health inequities and disparities in the Commonwealth. It presents a data-informed reflection of the racial and ethnic health inequities and disparities Massachusetts residents confront today. The information given here is imperfect and incomplete, because the state and federal data resources available for exploring health inequities and disparities are imperfect and incomplete."

October 31st, 2021: Pregnancy-Associated Overdose Deaths: MMRIA Data from 6 RMOR States

This review by the Rapid Maternal Overdose Review Initiative found that 89% of 107 overdose deaths during or within one year of pregnancy were potentially preventable. Read the full document here

February 11th, 2021: PNQIN Stigma, Bias, and Trauma-Informed Care Online Training is now LIVE!

PNQIN is thrilled to announce that the online version of our stigma, bias, and trauma-informed care training is now available to take on our website for Continuing Education credits!


This training was developed in partnership with the Brigham & Women's Hospital C.A.R.E. Clinic and was offered in 2-hour sessions via Zoom in Summer 2020. Given the many positive responses to the training, we have worked hard to bring your hospital teams an online version that you can take at any time within the next year. Please visit our Trauma-Informed Care Training page for more information and to register!

December 17th, 2020: COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for Pregnant Patients

Given recent developments with the COVID-19 vaccine, the MPQC website has been updated with a new page containing guidance for vaccine counseling and administration for pregnant and lactating patient populations. Please click here to visit the page, where you will find materials from ACOG and SMFM and a shared decision-making aid created by a workgroup from Baystate Health and UMass Medical School - Baystate.


December 7th, 2020: DPH Racial Equity Data Road Map is here!

This innovative tool was shared with the PNQIN community during Day 2 of our Fall 2020 Perinatal Opioid Project Summit on November 18th, 2020. From the DPH website: "The Racial Equity Data Road Map is a tool toward eliminating structural racism. It's a collection of guiding questions, tools, and resources to assist programs in taking concrete steps to better identify, understand, and act to address racial inequities."

Click here to download a PDF or DOCX of the road map tool and overview. Feel free to email for additional details or with questions.


November 24th, 2020: PNQIN Highlighted in NICHQ MA Case Study

PNQIN was mentioned in a recent report from the National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) entitled: "Massachusetts's Efforts to Reduce Preterm Birth Rates: A Case Study Developed from NICHQ’s Exploring State-Level Strategies to Improve Maternal Health and Birth Outcomes Initiative.


Check out the case study here!

November 23rd, 2020: New Grant to Research Empowering Black Mothers 

PNQIN is proud to partner on a new grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program. PNQIN Co-Chair Dr. Audra Meadows, together with Accompany Doula Care Co-founder Christina Gebel and Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha of Tufts University School of Medicine, will assess how black mothers' awareness of the maternal mortality crisis has influenced their perinatal choices, and what would move them from awareness to empowerment.

Read the full article here!

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