Inside Ascension's maternal health work

Ascension clinicians deliver about 1 in 50 infants born in the U.S. every year, according to its 2024 Maternal Health Report. 

The 140-hospital system is using its reach to improve maternal health outcomes across the country.

The system's PC-07 maternal morbidity rate for all patients was 20.5% lower than the national average between October 2022 and 2023. Among Black patients, this metric was 32.6% lower than the national average.

"Since 2000, the U.S. has seen a significant rise in maternal mortality rates, signaling a critical juncture for maternal health. At Ascension, we are implementing vital initiatives and programs aimed at improving maternal health outcomes," Ascension CEO Joseph Impicciche said in an April 17 news release. "While there is still work to be done to continue improving maternal health outcomes, our unwavering commitment and purposeful initiatives are driving remarkable advancements."

One particularly effective program has been the Maternal Health Social System Initiative, which the system piloted in Milwaukee, Detroit and Pensacola, Fla. The program involves maternal health navigators assisting patients with nonclinical needs and ensuring they attend prenatal appointments. To date, Ascension has reached 1,500 high-risk mothers through the effort, with the aim of expanding its reach to more than 4,000 moms across eight cities by 2030.

View the full report here

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