MAC Faculty Joins Pioneering Center Advancing Maternal Health Equity Backed by NIH IMPROVE Initiative

Faculty within MAC are thrilled to be part of the new Southern Center for Maternal Health Equity co-lead by the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Ochsner Health, and long-time MAC community partner RH Impact (formerly NBEC). It is one of 10 new centers across the US funded by the NIH’s Implementing a Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) initiative. The Southern Center for Maternal Health Equity received a 7-year grant to reduce the disproportionately high and disparate rates of maternal morbidity and mortality in Louisiana and the Gulf South through innovative research, training, and community-centered strategies.

Dr. Maeve Wallace, Associate Director of MAC, is co-leading the research arm investigating the efficacy of respectful maternity care/implicit bias behavior change interventions on maternal outcomes disparities. Dr. Katherine Theall, Director of MAC, and Dr. Melissa Goldin Evans, research scientist at MAC, are co-leading the community partner core designed to incorporate community involvement in all aspects of the Center’s work.

The establishment of this Center will bring together maternal health experts across a variety of areas—including medicine, public health, healthcare systems, community organizations, and public policy—to work as a team to address the multifaceted multilevel risk factors that create disparities in maternal health outcomes. This unprecedented opportunity is aligned with MAC’s values and mission that by centering community and taking an interdisciplinary approach, together we can improve maternal healthcare access and quality and ultimately better the health and lives of women and their families in this region.