New committee formed to address maternal deaths following passage of new law authored by Lehigh County lawmaker
HARRISBURG – As directed under a new law authored by state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh/Berks), the governor this week announced the creation of Pennsylvania’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee.
“The idea for this legislation was brought to me by individuals in my district who are members of the Pennsylvania Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Their passion for this issue was contagious, and I was honored to draft the legislation and advocate for its passage in the state Legislature, so we could begin to improve maternal and infant mortality outcomes here in the Commonwealth,” said Mackenzie. “With creation of the committee, we can now start to gather the information needed in order to develop recommendations for those treating expectant mothers.”
The 15-member Maternal Mortality Review Committee is charged with identifying pregnancy-related deaths, overseeing the review of these deaths, recommending actions to help prevent future deaths and publishing review results. This information will help clinicians and public health professionals better understand circumstances surrounding pregnancy-related deaths and enable them to take appropriate actions to prevent them.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) monitors maternal mortality on a national level, but there is no process for review in Pennsylvania. This new law will ensure more in-depth investigation of the deaths of expectant mothers and then use that information to improve health care for current and future expectant mothers.
According to a 2016 report from America’s Health Rankings, based on CDC National Vital Statistics System data, Pennsylvania ranks 21st in maternal mortality.
“I look forward to seeing the data concerning maternal mortality rates in Pennsylvania improve, just as it has for California, after the creation of a mortality review committee,” said Mackenzie.
Representative Ryan Mackenzie
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman