Maternal Health a Focus of Governor’s State of the State Address

Posted on January 30, 2020

On Jan. 29, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer presented her strategic goals for the upcoming year during her second State of the State address, with a significant focus on healthcare.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appears on the Michigan Senate Chamber rostrum with (from left to right) Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield.She highlighted the importance of maternal health and the need to remove health disparities to improve the quality and safety of care for all Michigan mothers and babies. Approximately 90 women die each year in Michigan during pregnancy, at delivery or within a year of giving birth; 44% of those deaths are considered preventable.

Whitmer announced plans to extend postpartum Medicaid benefits for a full year for mothers, increase access to treatment for substance use and mental health services for mothers and expand access to home visiting programs. Whitmer also called on Michigan’s medical and nursing schools to incorporate implicit bias training into their curricula to order to ensure health equity for all moms and babies.

MHA CEO Brian Peters expressed his gratitude to Whitmer for focusing on this subject in a statement following the address.

With the help of the MHA Keystone Center, hospitals are actively engaged in improvement efforts to ensure that all pregnant women, new mothers and babies receive appropriate care to stay healthy. The MHA Keystone Center partners in the Michigan Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health (MI AIM) to improve health outcomes by helping equip hospitals with actionable protocols, necessary equipment and staff education to prevent and adequately treat severe maternal events.

From 2014 to 2017, efforts of MI AIM have decreased the rate of severe maternal morbidity in Michigan by 10.5%. During the same period, complications from hemorrhage have decreased by 19.6% and maternal hypertension complications have decreased by 19%.

Other healthcare priorities that Whitmer addressed included the Affordable Care Act (ACA), prescription drug pricing and support for behavioral health. Whitmer called on lawmakers to pass legislation that would codify aspects of the ACA in Michigan law to protect essential health benefits, guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions and cap costs for health insurance. The following day, Democrats introduced legislation that was referred to the House Insurance Committee. She also announced the creation of a legislative bipartisan Prescription Drug Taskforce that will look at prescription drug prices in the private market.

Other priorities in the State of the State address included road funding, auto no-fault reform and education. Members with questions about the MI AIM efforts should contact the MHA Keystone Center. For more information on the State of the State, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.


  • Maternal Health a Focus of Governor’s State of the State Address

Tags: MHA Keystone Center, ACA, behavioral health, Medicaid, state of the state, maternal health, Adam Carlson, health disparities

Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Member News, Patient Safety and Quality

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