PRHI Receives Grant from Henry L. Hillman Foundation to Establish Maternal Coalition and Action Network

The Henry L. Hillman Foundation approved a $120,000 grant to the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) to help establish the Maternal Coalition and Action Network (MOMsCAN). MOMsCAN is a perinatal quality collaborative (PQC) that will build a statewide, multi-stakeholder coalition and use research, training, quality improvement, technical assistance, and policy/advocacy to lower maternal mortality rates in Pennsylvania and achieve excellent attachment and outcomes for mothers and babies. 

The rate of maternal mortality in the U.S is three times greater than in any other developed country, and it is trending in the wrong direction. More moms are dying today than 20 years ago. Pennsylvania ranks 17th in terms of the lowest maternal mortality rate, and is one of only six states without a PQC. States with a robust PQC have seen significant reductions in maternal mortality. For example, California's PQC observed a decline in maternal mortality by 55% between 2006-2013, and the state now has the lowest rate of maternal mortality in the U.S.

The grant from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation will support the data and research arm of MOMsCAN. To identify and respond to gaps in maternity care services, MOMsCAN will analyze a common set of quality metrics, and facilitate discussions with participating providers and stakeholders about how to apply best practices in response to improvement opportunities. To begin this effort, MOMsCAN will: conduct preliminary analyses to test maternal health metrics and identify high-impact improvement opportunities; create data specifications for the common set of perinatal quality metrics; and support participating health systems in analyzing and acting on their data.

"We are thrilled to partner with the Hillman Family Foundations on this effort," says Robert Ferguson, MPH, director of government grants and policy for JHF and its supporting organizations, including PRHI. "The data and research component is a core, backbone element of MOMsCAN, and we are excited to be able to move forward on this component, so it can be ready when MOMsCAN is launched in 2019. With the recently enacted Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MRRC) in Pennsylvania, it is a perfect time to create an action arm to respond to the causes of maternal mortality and improve outcomes for both moms and babies in Pennsylvania."

MOMsCAN is aligned with JHF's efforts to create maternity bundled payment models through the Reinvesting in Health Initiative and to identify and address the causes of maternal mortality, which is a core focus of the Foundation's Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal) supporting organization. JHF, PRHI, and WHAMglobal will continue to work with partners and stakeholders across the Commonwealth to assemble the other components of MOMsCAN, with the goal of launching the PQC in 2019.

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