DENVER, April 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- March of Dimes, the leader in the fight for the health of all moms and babies, and longtime partner Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation are working together to tackle America's maternal and infant health crisis. As both organizations continue to address health inequity across the country, the partnership in Colorado aims to address the racial disparities and social determinants of health that have disproportionately impacted Black mothers.
The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) recently reported that racial and ethnic health disparities in the U.S. have worsened over the past two decades. In order to achieve the Healthy People 2030 goals for Pregnancy and Childbirth, maternity care systems need to address disparities that threaten maternal and infant health. Researchers have identified implicit bias among health care providers as a potential contributor to these disparities. In response to these findings, March of Dimes developed Breaking Through Implicit Bias in Maternal Healthcare training, in collaboration with Quality Interactions, to improve patient-provider communications and treatment decisions, contributing to improved quality of care at a critical intervention point. The course provides an overview of implicit bias, its impact on the maternal infant health crisis, the history of structural racism in the United States, and strategies for providers to both mitigate racial bias in maternity care and commit to a culture of equity. The American Hospital Association recognizes the value of this important training program and the potential benefits of its use by health care providers across the country to better identify and remedy implicit bias. Denver Health has been selected as local health equity partner to implement this important work.
"The U.S. is in the midst of a maternal and infant health crisis, which is particularly devastating to women and babies of color. Data shows that the U.S. remains among the most dangerous developed nations in the world for childbirth," said Dr. Rahul Gupta, March of Dimes Chief Medical and Health Officer, Senior Vice President, and Interim Chief Scientific Officer. "Roughly every 12 hours, a woman dies from pregnancy-related causes, and the CDC reports that 60 percent are preventable. Programs like these, supported by the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, are invaluable in making a positive impact for moms and babies."
Over the past decade, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation's parent foundation has contributed nearly $8 million to support March of Dimes programs aimed at reducing premature birth that have reached more than 50,000 pregnant women across the country. These programs have had a significant impact with only 7.3% of participants in group prenatal care delivering prematurely, compared to a national average of 10%.
"As a healthcare leader in Colorado for more than 80 years, Anthem stands ready to work with community partners like the March of Dimes to address longstanding health inequities affecting women and babies of color," said Jonathan Sollender, M.D., regional vice president and senior clinical officer for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado. "Supporting efforts that address the social drivers of health and raise the quality of care will lead to healthier moms and babies in our state."
The grant also supports programs for moms and babies, such as interconception care programs, which help new moms get information and services to promote birth spacing, smoking cessation, and mental health.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family. Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem's commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company's year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates' donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation.
SOURCE March of Dimes Inc.