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Gillibrand advocates for an allocation of nearly $180 million to tackle concerns surrounding maternal health


Sep 9, 2023

U.S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging for legislation and substantial federal funding, amounting to around $180 million, to address what she describes as a maternal health crisis. Speaking at a news conference held at the Center for Gynecological Care & Wellness at Trillium Health in Rochester, Gillibrand highlighted a recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the survey, 20% of respondents reported mistreatment from healthcare providers during their pregnancy and delivery. The mistreatment included being shouted at or scolded, being ignored, threatened, denied treatment, or coerced into unwanted treatment. The survey also revealed higher rates of mistreatment among Black, Hispanic, and multiracial women, with nearly 30% reporting mistreatment.

Gillibrand is advocating for the Moms Matter Act, a piece of legislation that would establish grant programs to support mothers dealing with maternal mental health disorders and behavioral health treatments. The aim is to provide additional resources and support to address these prevalent issues.

State Senator Samra Brouk, a Democrat representing the 55th district, acknowledged the progress made in New York but emphasized the importance of federal support. Brouk highlighted the increased funding for doula support, culturally competent maternal mental health screenings, and the creation of a maternal mental health workgroup in New York. However, she emphasized that these efforts are only possible if the federal government shares the same commitment.

Jason Barnecut-Kearns, President & CEO of Trillium Health, emphasized the need for a coordinated effort to address the long-standing inequities in maternal health. He referred to a recent report by Common Ground Health which revealed that Latino communities in Rochester are three times more likely to experience adverse health outcomes. The report also highlighted significantly higher rates of premature mortality among Black communities in Rochester for various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature birth disorders. Additionally, the report emphasized the acute racial health inequities faced by Black women.

Gillibrand presented statistics showing that in Monroe County, the maternal mortality rate is 56% higher than the New York state average. She emphasized the need for investment in the social determinants of health, such as housing and nutrition, to address these disparities. The senator called on the federal government to provide more education and support services for mothers, specifically through investing in doulas and perinatal health workers.

By Editor

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