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UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital Earns Recognition for Advancing Black Maternal Health

  • By Marquis Lupton

Aired; May 14th, 2024.

UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, has been honored for its outstanding efforts in supporting Black maternal health by U.S. News & World Report. Notably, it is the sole hospital in Pennsylvania to receive this prestigious recognition, underscoring its commitment to health equity and positive birthing experiences for vulnerable populations, particularly pregnant people of color. This recognition stems from the U.S. News’ comprehensive analysis of high-performing maternity care hospitals across the United States. In December 2023, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital was highlighted among a select group of 26 hospitals nationwide for achieving exceptional outcomes in cesarean sections and unexpected newborn complications among Black patients.

On The Spark we spoke with Dr. Sharee Livingston of UPMC who stated that, at the core of UPMC Magee-Womens’ success is its holistic approach involving providers, nurses, hospital staff, and community members. She states that together, they strive to address and mitigate health disparities, ensuring that every patient receives equitable and high-quality care. This collaborative effort is particularly evident in their innovative use of doulas, which has been a major focus over the past few years.

Additionally, the Birth Circle Doulas of Magee program is a cornerstone of this initiative. It offers individualized doula support at no cost to at-risk women who face significant disadvantages due to adverse social determinants of health during pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum period. These services include both face-to-face and remote (telehealth) support, ensuring comprehensive care regardless of the patient’s circumstances. The utilization of doulas is well-documented to improve clinical outcomes for both the birthing person and the baby. At UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, doulas provide crucial emotional, physical, and informational support, helping to create a more positive and empowering birthing experience. This support is particularly beneficial for underserved women, who often face higher risks of complications and less access to quality maternal care.

The hospital’s recognition by U.S. News & World Report not only highlights its exemplary performance but also brings attention to the broader issue of maternal health disparities. By prioritizing health equity and pioneering effective programs like the Birth Circle Doulas of Magee, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital sets a benchmark for other institutions to follow. In a healthcare landscape where maternal mortality rates remain unacceptably high for Black women, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital’s dedication to improving maternal health outcomes is both commendable and essential. This recognition serves as a testament to the hospital’s unwavering commitment to providing equitable and excellent care for all mothers.

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