Meet the Maryland Maternal Health Innovation Program

Meet the Maryland Maternal Health Innovation Program

With an eye toward equity in safe maternal health care, the five-year Maryland Maternal Health Innovation Program is now underway; the project aims to improve maternal health quality and outcomes in Maryland.

It’s a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Department of Health (MDH), Maryland Patient Safety Center (MPSC), and University of Maryland Baltimore County, funded by a $10.3 million award from the Health Resources and Services Administration.


Here are the program’s specific objectives:

  1. Establish a state-focused Maternal Health Task Force to develop a Strategic Plan that incorporates activities from MD’s most recent Title V Needs Assessment.
  2. Improve access to, availability and utilization of state-level maternal health data.
  3. Promote and execute innovations in maternal health service delivery.

Two of the nine co-investigators behind the project are from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing: Kelly Bower, PhD, MSN/MPH, RN, APHN-BC, and Nicole Warren, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN, CNM, FAAN.

Kelly Bower’s research and her public health nursing practice focus on the elimination of racial disparities in women’s health. Using a lens of social justice, she aims to understand why these disparities exist and to develop interventions to reverse them. Her research examines the role of racism and respectful maternity care in maternal and child health outcomes.

Nicole Warren is a researcher and certified nurse midwife providing antenatal, postpartum, and well woman gynecologic care at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. A commitment to Respectful Maternity Care and eliminating mistreatment of childbearing persons guides her work, which, in addition to the Maryland Maternal Health and Innovation Program, currently includes projects evaluating the impact of educational interventions to improve care of women affected by female genital cutting, and group antenatal care in Mali, West Africa.


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