Press Releases

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MoMMA's Voices awarded new funding to further amplify BIPOC and other historically marginalized patient voices in maternal health

January 27, 2022 - The Preeclampsia Foundation announced today that Merck for Mothers has awarded new funding for its program, MoMMA’s Voices, a national coalition of patient advocacy organizations and individuals with "lived experience" – or those that represent them. Merck for Mothers is Merck’s global initiative to help create a world where no woman has to die while giving life.


With this new grant, MoMMA's Voices is preparing to engage hundreds of new patient and family partners (PFPs) across the U.S. in 2022. This program teaches both advocates and providers how to use the Lived Experience Integration™ framework to engage as partners wherever maternal health improvements are needed.


How the Lived Experience Integration™ and sharing of personal stories is making an impact:

○ Leads to a more focused commitment by quality improvement teams

○ Creates a culture of trust and acceptance between patients, families and providers

○ Reveals new solutions and insights through patient perspectives

○ Identifies confusing or missing pieces of processes

○ Assists in developing action plans and recommendations

○ Contributes to the content and design of materials

○ Pilots and tests new materials and processes

○ Expands research participation and information collection


The U.S. continues to face a maternal mortality crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 60% of these deaths are preventable. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are disproportionately affected. MoMMA's Voices is providing grant writing, execution, and reporting support specifically for BIPOC led organizations to build capacity to address this head-on. This effort will aim to increase BIPOC representation as patient and family partners nationwide.


“MoMMA’s Voices breaks down silos between maternal health organizations to amplify lived patient experiences that represent the voices of the women and their families affected by maternal health conditions,” said Eleni Tsigas, chief executive officer of the Preeclampsia Foundation. “The continued funding of our patient-centric work ensures patients continue to have a role in addressing the U.S. maternal health crisis.”


About MoMMA's Voices

MoMMA's (Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Advocates) Voices is the first-ever maternal health patient advocacy coalition established in 2018, to amplify the voices of people who have experienced childbirth complications or loss - especially those who have been historically marginalized - ensuring they are equipped and activated as partners with providers and researchers to improve maternal health outcomes. This is a program of the Preeclampsia Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and is supported by a grant through Merck for Mothers. For more information, visit mommasvoices.org and preeclampsia.org.

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MoMMA's Voices and AIM launch the first-ever Lived Experience Integration™ into QI Community of Learning in 23 States

January 13, 2022 - MoMMA's Voices and the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) have partnered to provide an enhanced integration of lived experiences into Quality Improvement (QI) initiatives to foster safe, respectful, and equitable care to pregnant and postpartum people.


“The integration of patients’ lived experience into quality improvement teams is critical to the success of our efforts to decrease maternal morbidity and mortality in the U.S.,” said AIM.


The Lived Experience Integration into QI Community of Learning training program is an eight-week educational series created by MoMMA’s Voices and funded by AIM. The program will run January to May 2022 and will serve three cohorts of 23 AIM state teams, territory teams, Indian Health Services facilities, and other healthcare entities.


During the eight-week AIM COL program, each cohort will learn how to effectively build a patient engagement culture centered on the Lived Experience Integration™, a concept developed by MoMMA’s Voices. The program teaches how to perform work that integrates patients and families with lived experience into patient safety bundle implementation and other QI initiatives.


“Partnering with AIM is an important milestone to amplify the patient voice for maternal healthcare improvements here in the United States,” said Nicole Purnell, Program Director of MoMMA's Voices. “Most importantly, the AIM COL program focuses on the inclusion of lower-resourced communities and special populations who we know are falling through the cracks of maternal healthcare in order to address healthcare disparities.”


MoMMA’s Voices offers certified training for patient family partners, organizations that represent them, maternal healthcare providers, and researchers to partner together effectively. The Lived Experience Integration™ is the framework that guides healthcare providers to partner and integrate the patient or family members’ “lived experiences” into their work. To keep patients at the center of quality improvement, providers and healthcare facilities are matched with certified patient family partners that best represent the communities they serve. Through these partnerships, the patient voice is used to improve maternal health outcomes.


About MoMMA’s Voices

MoMMA’s (Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Advocates) Voices is the first-ever maternal health patient advocacy coalition established in 2018, to amplify the voices of people who have experienced childbirth complications or loss - especially those who have been historically marginalized - ensuring they are equipped and activated as partners with providers and researchers to improve maternal health outcomes. This is a program of the Preeclampsia Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and is supported by a grant through Merck for Mothers. For more information, visit mommasvoices.org and preeclampsia.org.


About AIM

The Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) is a national data-driven maternal safety and quality improvement initiative. AIM works through state teams and health systems to align national, state, and hospital level engagement efforts to improve overall maternal health outcomes. Based on proven safety and quality implementation strategies, AIM works to reduce preventable maternal mortality and severe morbidity across the United States. AIM is funded through a cooperative agreement between the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)-Health Resource Services Administration through August 2023. For more information, visit https://safehealthcareforeverywoman.org/aim/.

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Patients, Families, and Healthcare Providers Work to Change Maternal Health Summit to be Held Oct 2-3

MELBOURNE, Fla., July 28, 2020 -- The annual Champions for Change Summit, a forum for training maternal health advocates and patient/family partners, will take place October 2-3 as a virtual conference and will include a track for healthcare providers.


The annual event, hosted by MoMMA's Voices a coalition representing 19 maternal health organizations, brings together survivors and/or their family members to learn to advocate for improvements in care, policies, and outcomes in maternal health. This year's addition of a healthcare provider component is a to foster patient/family partners and healthcare providers working together.


"Often patients and families, who have experienced an adverse outcome or complication of childbirth, want to be part of the solution. Providers need their voice at the table," says Nicole Purnell, manager of MoMMA's Voices, "Likewise providers want to deliver quality care and often welcome patient/family partners but may not know how best to use them. That is where we come in - training (both parties) and matching them given their experiences and improvement initiatives."


At their recent national meeting, the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC) and the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health (AIM) announced their goal is for each state Perinatal Quality Collaborative to include two or more patient/ family partners, in their initiatives by January 2021.


"Thanks to a partnership with the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health (AIM), a cooperative agreement between the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the educational track for healthcare providers will showcase best practices and deliver practical tips and strategies for engaging patient/family partners and will host a patient as partners recruitment expo allowing providers to highlight their projects and recruit patient/family partners," added Purnell.


As a member of the NNPQC's Patient Family Advisory Committee, Purnell participated in the development of the Patient Family Engagement Driver Diagram, which defines the steps and processes for inclusion of patient/family partners in PQC leadership teams and serves as a living document in the quality improvement process.


For patient/family partners, the summit offers sessions on telling your story, how to work with the media, leveraging social media, participating in provider education, serving state, regional and national organizations, trends in maternal care, and understanding quality improvement projects.

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Purnell Selected for National Quality Forum's Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Committee

MELBOURNE, Fla., Jan. 27, 2020 -- The Preeclampsia Foundation announced today that Nicole Purnell, program manager of MoMMA's Voices, has been selected to serve on the National Quality Forum's Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Committee as a patient advocate. While the majority of the committee's members are medical and scientific experts in maternal health, inclusion of patient and family partners is of extreme importance to the 14 maternal health patient organizations represented in the MoMMA's Voices coalition.


Driven by science, collaboration, measurement, and innovation, the National Quality Forum (NQF) fosters healthy multistakeholder collaboration to advance quality measures and improvement strategies that lead to better outcomes and greater value in healthcare. The U.S. is the only high-income country where maternal mortality is on the rise. Additionally, racial disparities are stark and persistent – a Black woman is three to four times more likely to die from a pregnancy or childbirth complication than a White woman, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


The purpose of NQF's Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Committee's 24-month project include:


○Convening a multi-stakeholder committee of experts to advise and guide NQF's work;

○Development of an Environmental Scan Report on the quality measurement for maternal morbidity and mortality;

○Development of a Recommendations Report which will describe measurement frameworks for maternal morbidity and mortality.


MoMMA's Voices prime focus is training advocates to be engaged patient partners. Members speak to the media, participate in provider education, serve on state, regional and national organizations and serve in a variety of capacities to support improving maternal health. In Fall 2019, at MV's Champions for Change Summit 100 more patients were trained as advocates.


"We've worked hard to ensure the voice of the patient is at the table where decisions impacting maternal health are being made," says Purnell. "We commend NQF for including our voice in this important initiative."


A maternal health advocate based in North Texas, Purnell's life was tragically changed in 2005 when severe preeclampsia caused multiple organ failure and placenta abruption resulting in the stillbirth of her son at 34 weeks gestation. For 10 years, Nicole chaired the Dallas Promise Walk for Preeclampsia along with several other volunteer roles. Last year, she joined the staff at the Preeclampsia Foundation as the MoMMA's Voices Coalition Program Manager. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the CDC's National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC).


Established in 2018, MoMMA's Voices is a national coalition of patient organizations and individuals with lived experiences or those who represent them, using their voice to reduce maternal complications in pregnancy and the postpartum period. This program is supported by a grant from Merck, through Merck for Mothers, the company's $500 million initiative to help create a world where no woman dies giving life. Merck for Mothers is known as MSD for Mothers outside the United States and Canada.


Preeclampsia Foundation, a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization established in 2000 whose purpose is to improve the outcomes of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy by educating, supporting and engaging the community, improving healthcare practices, and finding a cure. The Preeclampsia Foundation envisions a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and their babies. www.preeclampsia.org.


The National Quality Forum (NQF) works with members of the healthcare community to drive measurable health improvements together. NQF is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that gives all healthcare stakeholders a voice in advancing quality measures and improvement strategies that lead to better outcomes and greater value. Learn more at www.qualityforum.org.

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HHS Announces MoMMA’s Voices as Advisory Panel for a New 200-Hospital Maternal and Infant Care Collaborative

October 21, 2021 -

This is a program of the Preeclampsia Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and is supported by a grant through Merck for Mothers. For more information, visit mommasvoices.org and preeclampsia.org.

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