JHF, PA DHS Recognize UPMC Magee’s PA Perinatal Quality Collaborative Work

Jeaonna Hodges, lead doula at The Birth Circle Doulas of UPMC Magee, speaks at the roundtable. Photo courtesy of UPMC.

On November 16, representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PA DHS), UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) met for a roundtable discussion to highlight UPMC's work to promote greater use of best practices in perinatal care, especially to address perinatal depression and improve health equity.

UPMC Magee participates in the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC), a network of 16 hospitals across Pennsylvania that aim to address maternal health disparities and improve quality of perinatal care. In partnership, JHF and PA DHS lead the PA PQC and participated in the Center for Law and Social Policy's Moving on Maternal Depression Initiative (MOMD) from 2018–2020 to improve care for families affected by perinatal depression. As part of MOMD, UPMC Magee has grown its doula program and launched a program for Black and Brown women's health care providers called UPMC Health Equity Now. UPMC also implemented new perinatal depression and mood disorder screening across 15 birthing sites and pediatric offices. These actions aim to address disparities in pregnancy-related complications and death that disproportionately affect Black women.

The November 16 roundtable created space for discussion between UPMC Magee's leadership, JHF, and state representatives on UPMC Magee's progress in addressing health inequities, and on future priorities for sharing their best practices and building on the partnerships through the PA PQC.

PA DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead shared that PA DHS is committed to addressing maternal health disparities and promoting maternal health, especially during the postpartum period, and expressed gratitude towards UPMC Magee and JHF for their partnership in the PA PQC.

Jeaonna Hodges, lead doula at The Birth Circle Doulas of UPMC Magee, spoke on the importance of doulas' work to address maternal health disparities and provide support and connection to care for birthing people of color throughout pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Two participants in the doula program at UPMC Magee called in to share their experiences with the group, and they emphasized the critical importance their doulas have played in their lives, pregnancies, and birth experiences.

Read more from PA DHS: Department Of Human Services Highlights Partnership With UPMC Magee To Enhance Maternal Health Services 

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