ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A push Friday at Trillium Health in Rochester to decrease the disparities within maternal healthcare. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announcing her proposals for funding aiming to provide safer pregnancies and maternal care.

Senator Gillibrand is calling on legislation to eliminate racial bias in the field of maternal health. She says it’s crucial to protecting the lives of mothers and newborns.

The maternal mortality rate in Monroe County is 56% higher than the state’s average, and Black non-Hispanic women are up to three times as likely to die to pregnancy-related complications.

To address racial disparities in maternal health like this, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing grants to grow and diversify the healthcare workforce. These include $164 million for a safe motherhood and infant health program to review individual maternal deaths and prevent tragic outcomes. It also includes $15 million for the alliance and innovation of maternal health, a program that would work with states and healthcare systems to improve maternal outcomes using tool kits.

Gillibrand says the community needs to invest in housing, nutrition, education, and support services for mothers by investing in doulas and perinatal health workers.

“These are strong and targeted actions that can make a real difference. But there’s still more to do. I’ll keep fighting to improve maternal health. I’ll work to make sure that every mother gets high quality healthcare no matter her race, socioeconomic status, or zip code.”

President Biden also recently signed into law her Into the Light from Maternal Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders Act. For pregnant and postpartum women seeking support for mental health challenges, there is a National Maternal Mental Health Hotline. That can be reached by dialing 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS.


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