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Maternal Mortality Panel Holds Its First Hearing


HARRISBURG – The Maternal Mortality Review Committee held its inaugural meeting at the PA Department of Health to begin work on finding ways to decrease maternal deaths across Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation into law earlier this year establishing the committee as a first step to address the issue of increasing maternal mortality across the Commonwealth. The panel is tasked with developing programs, policies, recommendations and strategies based on collected data to prevent maternal deaths and protect Pennsylvania mothers. From 2012-2016, there was an increase in maternal deaths with 11.4 deaths per 100,000 live births in Pennsylvania. For black women, that rate is more than double at 27.2 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Pennsylvania’s rate, while increasing, is below the national rate of 18.0 pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births. Nationwide, the pregnancy-related mortality rate for black women was 40.0 deaths per 100,000 live births. The CDC presented the national data, as well as other information that constitutes the national perspective on the issue, to the committee. They also discussed what lessons other states have learned and presented a report from nine maternal mortality review committees from across the United States.

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