topheader - FINAL.pngMay 9, 2024

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Chase Cook, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-8649

PHOTO RELEASE: Maryland Department of Health, Maryland Patient Safety Center host inaugural Maryland Maternal Mortality Summit

Department announces statewide Women’s Health Action Plan and the State of Birth Equity partnership at summit 

Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Patient Safety Center hosted today's inaugural Maryland Maternal Mortality Summit at Coppin State University. The summit brought together various stakeholders and birth workers from across the state, encouraging them to learn, innovate, and collaborate on ways to eliminate Maryland's preventable maternal mortality rate. The summit also addressed disparities in care, access, and outcomes for expecting women and their families.

First Lady Dawn Moore discusses maternal health and the Moore-Miller administration's initiatives to increase healthcare resources for women in Maryland.

First Lady Dawn Moore attended the summit to advocate for maternal health and the importance of healthcare equity for mothers and expectant mothers in Maryland. During the summit, First Lady Moore announced the State of Birth Equity partnership with Horizon Foundation, Maryland's largest independent health philanthropy. The partnership also includes the Sherman Family Foundation, the Aaron Straus and Lillie Straus Foundation, the Richman Foundation, Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund, Boldly Go Philanthropy, and Community Health Acceleration Partnership. 

"We need to work together to ensure greater access to maternal health services for all women, regardless of zip code, income, and background," said First Lady Dawn Moore. "These partnerships are a critical step toward reducing maternal mortality, eliminating racial disparities, and improving the lives of mothers and their babies."

Dr. Laura Herrera Scott, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health, speaks about the Women’s Health Action Plan at the Maryland Maternal Mortality Summit.

At the summit, Dr. Laura Herrera Scott, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health, unveiled the Women's Health Action Plan for the state. The plan aims to enhance women's health and prioritizes health equity for non-Hispanic Black women and those residing in rural areas, who are disproportionately impacted. The action plan consists of six goals: 

  1. Protecting reproductive rights of women and expanding access to reproductive health services, including abortion care.

  2. Advancing birth equity, with a focus on Black maternal and infant health, through the perinatal continuum.

  3. Supporting behavioral health needs across the life course.

  4. Improving access to comprehensive, high-quality somatic services throughout life..

  5. Increasing place-based and community-centered approaches to promote health and prevent diseases.

  6. Expanding, supporting and diversifying the perinatal workforce.

"The Women’s Health Action Plan elevates women's health and focuses on equity, choice, and access," said Health Secretary Dr. Laura Herrera Scott. "I want all women in our state to achieve and maintain their highest level of physical, behavioral health and emotional wellbeing and to have the right to make choices regarding their body, reproductive and sexual health."

To learn more about the Maryland Women’s Health Action Plan, visit

For more information about the Maryland Department of Health’s maternal and child health programs, visit



The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement. ​​

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