EverThrive Illinois co-leads the Chicago Collaborative for Maternal Health (CCMH) with its partner AllianceChicago. Our shared goal is to combat the maternal mortality and morbidity crisis happening in Chicago with an emphasis on the south and west side neighborhoods experiencing the greatest disparities. Through CCMH, we seek to build awareness in these communities and in government, to foster collaboration among health and social service providers, and to drive quality of care in ambulatory settings. To accomplish these goals, CCMH helps providers in high-risk communities better serve families by delving into these priorities:
Identify at-risk patients
Working closely with Federally Qualified Health Centers that have collected data to determine problematic areas of maternal care, CCMH sees who is most at-risk. Current data shows pregnant and postpartum women who face diabetes, gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, and depression are the most vulnerable.
Empower the community with knowledge and resources
Community outreach, led by EverThrive IL, is at the heart of CCMH’s efforts to improve awareness of maternal mortality and morbidity prevention. The efforts are two-fold: gather feedback from those within the community and engage in meaningful conversations that can spread helpful information. We do this in several ways:
- Facilitate focus groups with pregnant or post-partum people
- Organize “shop talks,” informal meetups at local hair salons or other trusted gathering spots for candid conversations with all community members
- Host “train-the-trainer” sessions with social service providers that work with pregnant or post-partum families
More than 70 professionals participated in “train-the-trainer” sessions, including community health specialists and case managers, parent coaches, men’s health providers, lactation counselors, nursing interns, doulas, and other family support workers. Each session focused on better serving at-risk families by:
- Increasing awareness of maternal mortality/morbidity and associated disparities
- Understanding how to be part of the solution
- Provide insight on how to improve the system for women
Through all of this outreach, EverThrive IL is continuously collecting valuable data that will inform the direction of the CCMH and EverThrive IL’s policy agenda, allowing us to continue to justify the importance of equitable health and social service support across the state.
Advocate for policy and systems change
In order to sustain improvements in health care and social service settings, EverThrive IL continues to push forward legislation that can make a difference. Most recently,
the Illinois General Assembly passed several policies that directly affect the factors leading to disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity. Read more about it here.