Dr. Mary D'Alton speaks at New York Maternal Mortality Summit

February 21, 2018

Dr. Mary D’Alton, Chair of the Department of Ob/Gyn at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Co-Chair of the ACOG District II Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI) spoke at the 2018 New York Maternal Mortality Summit on February 14, 2018. The event was hosted by the New York Academy of Medicine and supported by funding from Merck for Mothers. As part of a plenary panel about ongoing efforts, Dr. D’Alton spoke about the work of the SMI to develop and implement “bundles” or standardized protocols for the three leading causes of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.

Other speaks on the panel included Lorraine Ryan from the Greater New York Hospital Association; Loretta Willis from the Healthcare Association of New York State; Claudia Boykins from the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership; Eleni Tsigas from the Preeclampsia Foundation; Chanel Porchia Albert from Ancient Song Doula Services; Lauren Tobias from the New York State Department of Health; and Deborah Kaplan from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Each speaker discussed how they and their organization were working to address maternal mortality and morbidity in New York State and City.

Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, kicked off the summit, and morning plenary sessions included a presentation by Dr. Joia Crear-Perry of National Birth  about the “Systems and Policies Driving Black Maternal Health Inequities” and from Dr. Bill Callaghan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about why accounting for maternal deaths in the United States is so difficult.

NYP/CUIMC had a great showing at the Summit with members from the faculty, nursing, and staff in attendance. At the close of her remarks, Dr. D’Alton added some personal thoughts on what brought her to this work, which can be viewed on Twitter. Overall, it was an important day for maternal health in New York State, and we look forward to working with our fellow attendees on future efforts to drive down rates of maternal mortality and morbidity.