The University of Minnesota’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity will be getting $300,000 to research maternal care inequities. The funding was given to the center in the newly passed Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act.
According to FOX 9, “In Minnesota, maternal and infant health inequities are alarming. Black women in Minnesota are more than twice as likely to die during or after pregnancy than their white counterparts.” The bill and the funding are hoping to close the alleged gap in healthcare and create a more equitable system for maternal care. They believe that “over half of maternal deaths are preventable” and that “racism and bias in the healthcare system” disproportionately affect the type of care that mothers receive.
The $300,000 in funding is going to be put towards making a curriculum that will be implemented in hospitals and birthing centers. They are hoping it will be used nationwide to teach about antiracism and implicit bias, to help to close the inequity between Black and White mothers.
Dr. Rachel Hardeman, a U of M researcher behind the program and who’s research the bill was supporting said, “This training is an important starting point for dismantling systemic systems and structures that have continued to create inequities in maternal and infant health across the life course.” Dr. Hardeman also said that, “We are the only industrialized nation that has a rise in the maternal mortality rate right now.”
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in the United States “the maternal death rate has increased an estimated 58% since 1990.” They link the rising maternal mortality to cardiovascular disease and say that there is a substantial amount of evidence to back up that claim. The article also addressed racial disparities. Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D., a medical officer in the Heart Failure and Arrhythmia Branch in NHLBI’s Division of Cardiovascular Sciences said, “We do know that racial and ethnic minorities and older women tend to have cardiovascular risk factors that predispose them to adverse pregnancy outcomes.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “University of Minnesota” by The University of Minnesota.