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May 12, 2021

UMass Memorial rolls out new initiative aimed at reducing death in childbirth

Photo | Grant Welker UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester

UMass Memorial Health of Worcester announced on Tuesday it helped create a new TeamBirth partnership with Wellesley insurer Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Boston health center Ariadne Labs to launch a new initiative at the UMass hospitals in Leominster and Worcester, aimed at improving maternal health and birth outcomes.

The TeamBirth process will initially launch in May at UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital in Leominster and UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. The results of this effort will be used to establish a standard of care for all of New England.

Americans today are 50% more likely to die during childbirth than previous generations, according to TeamBirth, as the maternal mortality rate has risen despite advances in health care. The negative results are  higher for Black patients and American Indian & Alaska Native women. The innovation from TeamBirth aims at improving safety in childbirth by effectively communicating the necessary information between the patient and her healthcare team during each labor assessment.

"This initiative will enhance and strengthen our care delivery processes, and improve the patient experience, for our expectant mothers, other birthing persons, and their families," said Dr. Tiffany Moore Simas, chair and professor of Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UMass Memorial Medical Center. "Our academic medical center embraces an environment of continuous improvement. That commitment is why we are partnering with Harvard Pilgrim and Ariadne Labs. Our care teams are excited about this opportunity."

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