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Essential Hospitals Receive $847,000 CVS Health Investment to Reduce Black Pregnant or Birthing Patient Morbidity and Mortality


WASHINGTON — Black birthing patients die at a rate three times that of white birthing patients, an alarming statistic behind a new learning collaborative by essential hospitals to reduce morbidity and mortality for Black pregnant or birthing patients and improve their obstetric outcomes.

The collaborative, funded by CVS Health Foundation, will be guided by Essential Hospitals Institute, the research, education, dissemination, and leadership development arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The two-year, nearly $847,000 project will support ongoing work at 12 essential hospitals to reduce morbidity and mortality among Black pregnant and birthing patients and foster sharing of results and best practices among the hospitals. These hospitals include:

  • Alameda Health System Foundation, Highland Hospital
  • Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation
  • JPS Health Network
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • Memorial Healthcare System
  • Broward Health
  • Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital
  • SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
  • Temple University Hospital
  • University of California, San Diego Health
  • UW Medical Center—Montlake
  • Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island

“The high rate of pregnancy-related mortality and morbidity among Black patients compared with white patients is among our most challenging health disparities,” said Institute Director and Vice President of Innovation Kalpana Ramiah, DrPH, MSc. “As primary caregivers in communities of color, our hospitals will lead work, through this collaborative, to find and share solutions.”

“The CVS Health Foundation is proud to work with Essential Hospitals Institute to support the maternal health of Black women,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS Health. “The Institute is well positioned to lead a learning network focused on strengthening service delivery and will have a significant impact on developing solutions to help patients have a healthy pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience.”

The pregnancy-related mortality ratio (PRMR) for non-Hispanic Black patients is more than three times that for non-Hispanic white patients — 40.8 percent compared with 12.7 percent, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research shows. This difference persists across age and socioeconomic factors. For example, the PRMR for Black patients with at least a college degree was five times higher than for white patients with similar education. Cardiomyopathy, thrombotic pulmonary embolism, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy contributed more to mortality among Black pregnant and birthing patients than among white pregnant and birthing patients, the CDC reports.

“We are committed to closing gaps in care and reducing health disparities among the underrepresented people our hospitals serve,” Ramiah said. “This new collaborative supports those goals and ultimately will drive better care at all hospitals. We thank CVS Health Foundation for its generous support of this important work.”

# # #

About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

About Essential Hospitals Institute
Essential Hospitals Institute is the research, education, dissemination, and leadership development arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute supports the nation’s essential hospitals as they provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities. Working with members of America’s Essential Hospitals, we identify promising practices from the field, conduct research, disseminate innovative strategies, and help our members improve their organizational performance. We do all of this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for vulnerable people.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues — including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health — whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications, or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system — and their personal health care — by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Learn more at

Carl Graziano


About the Author

Dedicated staff at America's Essential Hospitals work together to produce high-quality, reliable content. Please view the about section for more details about staff.

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