Thursday April 14, 2022
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) today announced the release of a new report on maternal mortality, the New York State Report on Pregnancy-Associated Deaths in 2018, as part of the State’s ongoing commitment to address systemic inequities and create safer birth experiences for mothers and families. The new report represents the culmination of the work of the New York State Maternal Mortality Review Board (MMRB) and the New York State Maternal Mortality & Morbidity Advisory Council (MMMAC) to identify common factors contributing to death and develop the recommendations needed to improve the health and safety of pregnant New Yorkers statewide.
The link to the full report is available in the press release: New York State Department of Health Releases New Report On Maternal Mortality (ny.gov)
Thursday, February 24, 2022
People from racial, ethnic, and other groups report frequent COVID-19–related discrimination
Study highlights the need for public health messaging strategies that address biases against all population groups that have been marginalized.
People from all major racial and ethnic minority population groups in the United States report experiencing more COVID-19–related discrimination than white adults, a new study shows. COVID-19-related discrimination includes experiences of being threatened or harassed based on someone’s perception of another having COVID-19. To date, this is the largest study, with the most diverse participants, to examine discrimination related to COVID-19. The study was led by Paula D. Strassle, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), part of the National Institutes of Health, and was published in the American Journal of Public Health on Feb. 23, 2022.
In the study, researchers measured the prevalence of COVID-19–related discrimination in all major racial and ethnic groups in the United States, using data from the COVID-19’s Unequal Racial Burden (CURB) survey. They also analyzed the impact of other social and demographic factors on COVID-19–related discrimination. People from groups that have been marginalized, such as those who speak little to no English and those with lower levels of education, were also found to face more discrimination due to the pandemic.
Researchers collected information from 5,500 American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Latino, white, and multiracial adults. The online survey was administered by YouGov from December 2020 to February 2021 and was available in English and Spanish. The survey asked whether participants had experienced COVID-19–related discriminatory behaviors, such as being called names or insulted, being threatened or harassed, or hearing racist comments, because the perpetrator thought the participant had COVID-19. The survey also asked whether participants felt that others acted afraid of them because they belonged to a racial/ethnic group misconceived to get COVID-19 more often.
Results showed that 22.1% of participants had experienced COVID-19–related discriminatory behaviors, and 42.7% of participants reported that people acted afraid of them. When compared to white adults, people from all racial and ethnic minority groups were more likely to have experienced COVID-19–related discrimination. Participants who identified as Asian or American Indian/Alaska Native were most likely to have experienced this hostile behavior, and participants who identified as Hawaiian or Pacific Islander or Latino were also highly likely to have experienced discrimination. Higher rates of discrimination affected participants who lived in a big city; in a rural area; or in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, or Tennessee.
The results suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened existing resentment toward racial and ethnic minorities and other minority populations in the United States. The study showcases the need for careful and responsible public health messaging during public health crises to help prevent and address discrimination against groups that have been marginalized.
The researchers noted that the study involved some limitations. The survey was administered online and persons with limited or no internet access were less likely to be included, although participants were recruited in a variety of ways, including over the phone and through flyers. It was also a self-reported survey, and discrimination was based on perceived motivations of the perpetrators.
P.D. Strassle et al. COVID-19–related discrimination among racial/ethnic minorities and other marginalized communities in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306594(link is external)
Paula D. Strassle, Ph.D., M.S.P.H, Division of Intramural Research, NIMHD, is available for comment.
NIMHD leads scientific research to improve minority health and reduce health disparities by conducting and supporting research; planning, reviewing, coordinating, and evaluating all minority health and health disparities research at NIH; promoting and supporting the training of a diverse research workforce; translating and disseminating research information; and fostering collaborations and partnerships. For more information about NIMHD, visit https://www.nimhd.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
According to the CDC, two in three pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.
Click on this link to learn more about Maternal Warning Signs
Signos de una urgencia en la madre durante el embarazo o posparto
Action to Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity
DECEMBER 07, 2021•STATEMENTS AND RELEASES
As part of the Call to Action, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) releases new report estimating that 720,000 more people would gain Medicaid postpartum coverage if states act; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposes establishment of “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation and issues guidance to states on how to provide Medicaid coverage for a full year postpartum
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have long championed policies to improve maternal health and equity, and addressing the maternal mortality and morbidity crisis is a key priority of their Administration. America’s maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the developed world, and they are especially high among Black women and Native American women, regardless of their income or education levels. On behalf of the Biden-Harris Administration, Vice President Harris is issuing a nationwide Call to Action to both the public and private sectors to help improve health outcomes for parents and infants in the United States.
Today marks the first-ever White House Maternal Health Day of Action. In addition to substantial investments proposed in the Build Back Better Act, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new commitments to support safe pregnancies and childbirth, and reduce complications and mortality in the year following birth.
The Administration will:
- Build Back Better: The Build Back Better Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, includes an historic $3 billion investment in maternal health.
- Encourage states to expand postpartum coverage: CMS is releasing new guidance to help states provide 12 months of continuous postpartum coverage through their Medicaid programs, up from 60 days. Currently, states are only required to provide coverage for 60 days postpartum, despite research showing that many deaths and complications occur more than 60 days following delivery. This easier pathway for states was established by the American Rescue Plan and will become available in April 2022. States, including Virginia, New Jersey, and Illinois, have already extended postpartum coverage for families in their states and CMS is encouraging all states to take up the new option.
- Report on the impact of postpartum coverage: HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) is releasing a new report showing the dramatic impact of state extensions of Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months. If every state adopted an extension — as required in the Build Back Better Act —then the number of Americans getting coverage for a full year postpartum would roughly double, extending coverage for an estimated 720,000 people in a given year.
- Create a new designation of the quality of maternal health services for our nation’s hospitals: CMS is planning to propose the establishment of a “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation, which would be the first-ever hospital quality designation by HHS specifically focused on maternity care. This designation is intended to be awarded to those hospitals that participate in a collaborative program aimed at improving maternal outcomes and implement patient safety practices. CMS would add the designation to their “Care Compare” website to allow consumers to choose hospitals that have implemented best practices.
The Build Back Better Act’s Investment in Maternal Health
Once passed, the Build Back Better Act’s maternal health provisions will:
- Invest over $3 billion in new maternal health funding, with transformative new investments in growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce, improving data collection and maternal health risk monitoring, addressing the social factors that contribute to poor maternal health outcomes, addressing substance use disorders that impact maternal health, promoting increased maternal health research, improving postpartum coverage, and better coordinating care.
- Require all states to provide continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum, eliminating potentially deadly gaps in health insurance at a critical time for individuals. Currently, states are only required to provide coverage for 60 days postpartum, despite research showing that many deaths and complications occur more than 60 days following delivery.
- Spark innovation by allowing states to establish maternal health homes to better coordinate health care for individuals before, during, and following birth.
Additional Background on Biden-Harris Efforts to Combat the Maternal Health Crisis
The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any wealthy nation in the world. Every year, people in the United States die of pregnancy-related causes at more than double the rate among nations with similar levels of income. Maternal mortality statistics in the United States have actually worsened over the past 20 years, even as rates among peer nations have generally improved. In addition, each year, tens of thousands of mothers experience severe morbidity—unintended consequences of pregnancy that result in life-altering health challenges, such as severe heart issues, hemorrhages, seizures, and blood infections.
This maternal health crisis is particularly devastating for Black and Native American women, and women in rural communities. Black women are more than three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications as white women, and Native American women are more than twice as likely, regardless of their income or education. Pregnant women who live in rural communities are about 60 percent more likely to die before, during, or following birth than women in urban communities.
In April, the President issued the first-ever presidential proclamation for Black Maternal Health Week, which emphasized the importance of addressing this crisis. The Administration simultaneously released a fact sheet outlining significant requests for new funding related to maternal health, actions to expand Medicaid coverage for pregnancy and postpartum care, and grant funding for rural maternal care.
As a Senator, Vice President Harris introduced the Maternal CARE Act and the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which would provide significant additional resources to address the crisis. This maternal health work by Vice President Harris and other Congressional leaders is now a key component of the Build Back Better Act, which will expand access to maternal care and make unprecedented new investments to drive down mortality and morbidity. President Biden and Vice President Harris call on the Senate to swiftly pass Build Back Better, and make these reforms a reality for America’s families.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2021
Contact: HHS Press Office
As Vaccinations are Approved for Children Across the Country, U.S. Surgeon General Releases New Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation
Toolkit offers specific guidance to individuals, health care professionals and administrators, teachers, librarians, and faith leaders to understand, identify, and stop the spread of health misinformation
As a new phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign begins for children ages 5 to 11 years old, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy releases a Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation - PDF to help Americans navigate the serious threat of health misinformation, especially online. Earlier this year, Dr. Murthy issued the first Surgeon General’s Advisory of this administration warning people about the urgent threat of health misinformation and calling for a whole-of-society approach to address it.
“With the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 to11 years old, it is more important than ever that families have access to accurate, science-based information. Health misinformation is spreading fast and far online and throughout our communities,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy. “The good news is that we all have the power to help stop the spread of health misinformation during this pandemic and beyond. That’s where this toolkit comes in—to provide Americans with resources to help limit and reduce this threat to public health.”
The Surgeon General’s Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation provides specific guidance to individuals, health care professionals and administrators, teachers, school administrators, librarians, and faith leaders to understand, identify, and stop the spread of health misinformation in their communities. The toolkit comes at a critical time when Americans are learning more about the role technology companies play in the spread of health misinformation.
Resources in the Community Toolkit include:
· A Health Misinformation Checklist to help evaluate the accuracy of health-related content;
· Tips on how individuals can talk to loved ones about health misinformation;
· An outline of common types of misinformation and disinformation tactics; and
· Reflections and examples of times individuals may have encountered misinformation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, health misinformation and disinformation (misinformation that is spread intentionally to serve a malicious purpose) have threatened the U.S. response to COVID-19 and continue to prevent Americans from getting vaccinated, prolonging the pandemic and putting lives at risk.
In response, the Surgeon General issued the first advisory of this Administration in July on Health Misinformation, laying out how the nation can confront health misinformation by helping individuals, families, and communities better identify and limit its spread. The advisory also outlines several ways institutions in education, media, medicine, research, and government stakeholders can approach this issue. It underscores the urgent need for technology and social media companies to address the way misinformation and disinformation spread on their platforms, threatening people's health. The full Surgeon General’s Advisory can be found here.
The Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation can be found here - PDF.
For more information about the Office of the Surgeon General, please visit: www.surgeongeneral.gov.