Cincinnati, Ohio –Mama Certified, a national pilot and new certification launching in the winter of 2024, brings together all birthing hospitals in Hamilton County to advance maternal health equity for Black families. A groundbreaking initiative powered by bi3, participating hospitals include Bon Secours Mercy Health, The Christ Hospital Health Network, TriHealth, and UC Health.
Developed in partnership with Cradle Cincinnati, The Health Collaborative, Queens Village and local Black Mothers, Mama Certified, is designed to provide Black parents-to-be with a meaningful way to assess and compare the maternal-related efforts of Hamilton County’s hospital networks and to encourage and support the hospitals’ increased efforts to ensure that Black parents-to-be and their babies receive respect and care.
Under Mama Certified, hospital systems will be assessed for their efforts across four categories:infant care, maternal care, staff care, and community care. Progress and results will be made publicly available to the community.
Mama Certified was developed in response to significant racial disparities in maternal mortality and infant mortality. Black moms are 2.5 times more likely to die during childbirth and nearly three times more likely to experience infant loss in Ohio than any other race, regardless of education and socioeconomic factors. In addition, Black women reported locally that they often feel unseen, unheard, and ignored in medical settings.
Mama Certified hospitals commit to:
- Increasing transparency and accountability by agreeing to share clinical publicly measures related to maternal and infant health outcomes
- Taking the time to learn about the realities of equity in healthcare through staff-wide training
- Regularly meeting with representatives from Queens Village, a supportive group of powerful Black women to develop new interventions that support equitable maternal and infant care
- Establishing or continuing policies and practices that are proven to improve maternal and infant health
“Through our expertise in data and bringing together healthcare providers and community, The Health Collaborative is proud to support Mama Certified, a groundbreaking initiative promoting maternal health equity. As a collaborative force alongside Cradle Cincinnati, Queens Village – an advisory board of local Black Mothers – and our hospital members, we understand the urgency of addressing racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality. By engaging hospital systems in transparent reporting and continuous improvement, Mama Certified is a vital step toward dismantling systemic inequities in healthcare. Our commitment reflects the belief that data-driven initiatives that center the voice of those most impacted are pivotal to moving the needle on community health, and we stand united in this transformative journey,” shares Lauren Bartoszek, PHD, MCHES, Director, Community Health Strategies at The Health Collaborative.
Hospital-specific maternal and infant health data will be available for the public in 2024. For more information, visit www.mamacertified.org.