Keeping Current @ the Capitol: Maternal Mortality Study Committee, Meeting Five


The fifth convening of the House Maternal Mortality Study Committee (MMSC) was held December 3 from 1:30PM-3:00PM. The MMSC is chaired by Chairwoman Sharon Cooper (Marietta) and Chairman Mark Newton (Augusta). Legislative members of the MMSC include Representatives Chuck Efstration (Dacula), Deborah Silcox (Sandy Springs), Darlene Taylor (Thomasville), Carolyn Hugley (Columbus), and Valencia Stovall (Forest Park). Dr. Chad Ray and Dr. Jane Ellis also serve as citizen members of the MMSC.

This meeting focused on social determinants of health and the role of certified nurse-midwives. To watch a recording of the meeting visit here. Committee agendas, public announcements, and speaker presentations can be found here. Below is a summary of what was discussed.

Naima Joseph, MD, MPH – Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellow, Emory University

  • On October 15, 2019, Grady Health launched the “Blue Sheet Project” to assess the role of social determinants of health during pregnancy and their role in hypertensive morbidityby
    • Implementing routine screening during prenatal care
    • Defining and documenting complex need in low-income pregnant patients
    • Determining needs most predictive of adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • As of December 3, 2019, 1,622 patients have been screened and it was found that 37% had literacy needs, 22% food insecurity needs, 19% had transportation needs, and 15% had housing instability.

Lexi Dunn, PhD, CNM and Kate Woeber, PhD, CNM, MPH – Georgia Nurses Association

  • About 94.6% of Georgia deliveries attended by certified nurse-midwives (CNM) take place in a hospital.
    • In Georgia, CNMs attend about 20% of births.
  • CNMs provide care across the reproductive life with care before and between pregnancies, during the prenatal period, throughout labor and delivery, and postpartum.
  • CNMs have had a number of positive outcomes in Georgia including reducing C-section rates through a variety of interventions.