(Washington, DC) – On September 12, at 9 am, Mayor Bowser will host Washington, DC’s first-ever Maternal and Infant Health Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center with mayors and leaders from across the country, including the African American Mayors Association. The summit will provide leaders and experts an opportunity to discuss best infant and maternal health practices and develop a nationwide agenda that addresses the disproportionally high rates of maternal mortality experienced by people of color in Washington, DC and across the nation.
“We are working every day to ensure that all women have equal access to high-quality health care before, during, and after child birth—regardless of background, zip code, or income,” said Mayor Bowser. “This summit will complement the work my Administration is doing across all eight wards to provide women and children with the care they need to live healthy, happy lives.”
This is not the first time Mayor Bowser has worked with national leaders to improve maternal and infant health care. This summer, at the 86th United States Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in Boston, mayors from across the United States adopted a resolution introduced by Mayor Bowser which urges jurisdictions to prioritize maternal and infant health by establishing or expanding maternal mortality review committees.
The Maternal and Infant Health Summit is the most recent step the Bowser Administration is taking to ensure all mothers and infants in Washington, DC have access to high-quality health care. Earlier this year, Mayor Bowser introduced the Better Access for Babies to Integrated Equitable Services Act of 2018 (“BABIES” Act of 2018) to establish a two-year pilot program to reduce preterm births. Additionally, in May 2018, the Bowser Administration released its annual “Perinatal Health and Infant Mortality Report”, which highlights programs and approaches to improving and protecting perinatal health in Washington, DC. Mayor Bowser is also focused on expanding access to high-quality early child care, and in 2017, launched Thrive By Five, a citywide effort to connect more DC families to a wide range of resources that support maternal and child health, behavioral health, and early education.
Other District maternal and infant health programs include: Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, DC Healthy Start, DC Hears, Maternal, Infant Early Childhood Home Visitation (MIECHV), Newborn Metabolic Screening Program, Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program, Perinatal HIV Program, Perinatal Oral Health Program, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs.
Each Monday, from August 6 through the end of September, the Bowser Administration will host a “Maternal Monday” Facebook Live that will engage Washingtonians and highlight best practices, nonprofits, and government programs that address maternal and infant health. For more information, visit Mayor Bowser’s Facebook page.