JHF Grants State Funds to Philadelphia’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee to Reduce Maternal Deaths

Many states, including Pennsylvania, have formed Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) to analyze maternal deaths within the state and determine their causes. The committees can be a valuable tool to not only identify root causes but to structure interventions based on those causes. In response to the ongoing maternal mortality crisis, the City of Philadelphia established the first county-level MMRC in 2010.

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) received $200,000 of federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to support MMRCs in Pennsylvania. Funding was intended to support grassroots, on-the-ground efforts to address maternal mortality and morbidity by implementing recommendations made by existing PA MMRCs and to create a replicable model for other jurisdictions to follow.

In early 2024, JHF entered into an agreement with the City of Philadelphia to support the implementation arm of the Philadelphia MMRC, Organized Voices for Action (OVA).

OVA's mission is to channel recommendations from MMRC into actionable citywide strategies to reduce maternal deaths and advance the health and well-being of childbearing individuals. With this funding, the OVA intends to:

  • Reduce maternal mortality in Philadelphia, particularly deaths due to drug overdose and pregnancy-related complications;
  • Implement evidence-based interventions to tackle the leading causes of maternal mortality; and
  • Engage community voices and integrate their solutions into policies and programs.

This work will be accomplished over two years by establishing and enhancing implementation teams, conducting training, investing in community-based initiatives, developing a more user-friendly BirthJustice Philly website, and publishing the MMRC report.

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