Baltimore City is Building a Maternal Mortality Review Committee

The Baltimore City Health Department is currently recruiting members for a local Maternal Mortality Review Team.

State legislation passed in 2019 empowers local jurisdictions to convene local maternal mortality review teams to prevent maternal mortality. This team will collaborate with State and community partners to identify gaps in local systems, recommend strategies tailored to local needs, and work with community partners to implement those recommendations.

The Baltimore City MMR Team aims to:

  • Understand local systems issues contributing to preventable maternal mortality

  • Narrow racial disparities and promote racial equity in maternal health and the factors that contribute to it

  • Develop evidence-based and locally relevant recommendations to prevent maternal mortality and promote maternal health

  • Work with city agencies and community partners to implement recommendations, including changes within local systems and agencies

What is Maternal Mortality?

Maternal mortality is often grouped into the following categories, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Pregnancy-associated death: the death of a woman while pregnant or within one year of the termination of pregnancy, regardless of the cause.

  • Pregnancy-related deaths: the death of a woman during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy, from a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.

What is a Maternal Mortality Review (MMR)?

MMR is an action-oriented community process to prevent maternal mortality. MMR continually assesses, monitors, and works to improve health and social service systems and community resources for women and families. As of 2021, 48 states, the District of Columbia, New York City, Philadelphia, and Puerto Rico have a formal maternal mortality review committee or legal requirement to review maternal deaths.

How will MMR work in Baltimore City?

The Maryland Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) currently conducts and will continue to conduct the medical review of all pregnancy-associated deaths in Maryland, including those among Baltimore City residents. As the Maryland MMRC finishes its review, it will share all cases of pregnancy-associated deaths among Baltimore City residents with the Baltimore City MMRC. The Baltimore City MMRC will then conduct a review that examines the local systems pertinent to each case.

 

The Baltimore City MMRC will meet bimonthly to review cases of maternal death, paying special attention to social, economic, and health factors that may have contributed to the death. Based on the case reviews, the team will identify issues that require action and makes recommendations for change. 

How will MMR work for B'more for Healthy Babies?

MMR will be an important part of the B'more for Healthy Babies initiative to prevent infant and maternal mortality. MMR will enable B'more for Healthy Babies to identify factors that contribute to maternal mortality and monitor the progress of interventions to improve our city's service systems.

 

The recommendations of the Baltimore City MMRC will go directly to the B'more for Healthy Babies Steering Committee, which will serve as Baltimore City MMR’s Community Action Team. Anchored in the Mayor’s Office, the Steering Committee oversees the B'more for Healthy Babies Core Implementation Team, which will meet to review MMR recommendations, prioritize issues, and implement interventions to improve service systems and resources in Baltimore City. BHB’s Neighborhood Action Teams in Upton/Druid Heights and Patterson Park North & East will provide critical feedback of MMR recommendations and work to implement the recommendations within their communities.