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Maternal Health Action Plan, Call to Action

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a detailed action plan on maternal health in the United States and announced a public-private partnership to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Surgeon General Jerome Adams simultaneously announced a call to action to improve maternal health, complementing HHS’ robust plan.

HHS’ plan recognizes the need for immediate action and includes three specific targets to achieve by 2025:

  • 50 percent reduction in maternal mortality rate;
  • 25 percent reduction in low-risk cesarean deliveries; and
  • achievement of blood pressure control in 80 percent of women of reproductive age with hypertension.

As part of this plan, HHS will further invest in workforce development, strengthen rural maternity care, and focus on reducing maternal health disparities. HHS also plans to expand hospital eligibility and participation in existing maternal health care models and develop and publicly report maternal health quality measures.

HHS also announced a public-private partnership with the March of Dimes that will address maternal health disparities and gaps in care for Black women. This partnership will work to improve care in health care quality in hospital settings through evidence-based best practices.

The surgeon general’s call to action will look into existing maternal mortality and morbidity, with a special emphasis on addressing racial inequities and disparities in this space. The call to action lists specific steps and strategies to optimize women’s health that engage the full spectrum of women and families; states; health care professionals; health care systems, hospitals and birthing facilities; payers; employers; innovators; and researchers.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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