New maternal health task force set to tackle healthcare issues for expecting mothers in Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama ranks among the worst in infant and maternal health in the United States, but a new task force is now working to fix that.
The leader of the task force is ready to get to work with the ultimate goal of saving lives.
UAB Dr. Martha Wingate’s life mission is to improve maternal health in Alabama, and now she’s getting close to $1 million in federal grant funds to do just that.
“This opportunity in and of itself to be able to say ‘hey we can make a difference to future children, families, to whatever.’ is just fantastic,” said Dr. Wingate.
Dr. Wingate is leading the Alabama Maternal Health Task Force, made up of experts in caring for pregnant women and infants across the state.
“The idea with this task force is to pull together all those other entities that are working in this particular area, using the data, using the evidence to help us make the right choices,” said Dr. Wingate.
They’re tasked with finding solutions to address disparities in care and prevent and reduce maternal mortality.
Ideas so far include workforce expansion, improving access to healthcare, and enhancing data collection.
“Very much a focus on health equity and that can be looking to it from a geographic standpoint, it can be from race and ethnicity, it can be from a variety of places and here in Alabama we are looking at all of that. So really making sure we do address access to care,” said Dr. Wingate.
The task force is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and while this is still early on, Dr. Wingate says ideas include more training for rural healthcare centers and expanding telemedicine.
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