Thank you to everyone who made the 2022 National Maternal Health Innovation Symposium a success! We couldn’t have done it without you!
MHLIC is proud to have coordinated 35 workshops, a film screening and Q&A session, 11 Spark Sessions, and four plenary sessions for attendees. More than 1300 people registered and approximately 813 people attended live plenaries and sessions. Topics included maternal health policy, mental health, systems change, community engagement, addressing workforce diversity, and many more. Most of the recorded content will be available on MHLIC’s YouTube Channel and our Resource Center at MaternalHealthLearning.org this fall.
Day 1 of the Symposium kicked off with in-person sessions covering policy engagement, maternal mental health, tools for sustainability, and black maternal mental health. The sessions were followed by an official welcome from Dr. Dorothy Cilenti, MHLIC Principal Investigator, Maternal Health Blueprint overview by Carole Johnson, HRSA Administrator, and highlights of the work that’s being done through on-the-ground partnerships by Dr. Michael Warren, MCHB Associate Administrator.
Dr. Tiffany “DrT” Manuel of TheCaseMade delivered the luncheon keynote, “Hold the Door! Making the Case Systems Change, Equity & Inclusion in Maternal Health.” She shared her own birth story, encouraged effective leadership strategies by mobilizing bystanders, and discussed balancing the scales by including the person you’re talking to in the story, attuning to their aspirations.
The second and final day of NMHIS began with an enamoring panel discussion, “Reproductive Justice and Birth Across Cultures,” moderated by Andrea Serano, MHLIC and Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) team member and featured panelists Brenda Reyes of Health Connect One, Khye Tyson of Kuluntu Center, and Vanessa Lovejoy-Guron of Intersectional Birth Services. Here are some key takeaways and quotes:
- Create trust with communities of color
- Incorporate decision makers who look like the communities they’re affecting
- Have equitable pay for midwives and doulas
- Empower the community
- Reduce barriers to the system that is supposed to be designed to support communities in need
- Get rid of the “supermom” stereotype
- Allow people to be vulnerable in their pregnancy, to process the transition, and fight shutting down when overwhelmed
Lactation is a full family event.Vanessa Lovejoy Guron
Value the birthing families. Allow them to use their voices. Society has taught us not to use our voices and when we do, we’ll be ignored. You are valuable. Your voice is valuable. You matter. You are loved. We love you. Investing community works.Brenda Reyes
No victory is too small.Andrea Serano
The second general session was opened with remarks from Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL). She discussed telehealth services, increasing workforce and access to healthcare services, advised of her support for legislation for investments to alleviate health inequities, and told attendees to reach out to their representatives with their ideas.
We want to hear from the people doing the work.Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL)
Congresswoman Kelly’s remarks were followed by the panel discussion, “The Power of Policy to Advance Maternal Health,” which featured highlights of the work being done by Georgia Health Policy Center (GPHC) and Illinois Contraceptive Access Now (ICAN). GPHC’s Dr. Karen Minyard unveiled FramingFunds.org, a website that provides a breakdown of funds being used federally. You’ll be able to find out what funding is being used, what’s available, and breaks everything down by state, department, and even by social determinants of health. We’ve added it to our Resource Center.
After some great workshops, Dr. Kim Hires closed with “Burnout – A Spark for Innovation” where she discussed the phenomenon of burnout. She highlighted what leads to it, what symptoms to look for, taught us how to reconnect with our body’s inherent wisdom, discussed energy management, and the practice of implementing tiny habits, starting with keeping the promises you make to yourself.
What fills your cup? Don’t forget about your needs and wants.Dr. Kim Hires
Use #MaternalHealthMoves and keep the conversation going!
Interested in partnering with MHLIC? Contact Kelli Sheppard, email@example.com.