Mass General Brigham and The New Commonwealth Fund Partner to Invest in Maternal Health Equity Across Massachusetts
Initiative will invest $2.5 million to increase capacity, provide resources, and support a robust ecosystem
Mass General Brigham, Massachusetts’ largest health care system, and The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund (NCF), a ground-breaking fund created by a group of Black and Brown corporate executives in Massachusetts to eliminate systemic racism throughout the state, today announced a strategic five-year maternal health partnership. The partnership will invest $2.5 million to advance maternal health equity, support practitioners and advocates to make critical advances in patient care and outcomes and improve health equity of Black and Brown communities across the Commonwealth.
“The New Commonwealth Fund continues to invest in Black and Brown leaders whose organizations are dismantling barriers of systemic racism across our institutions, and we are thrilled to partner with Mass General Brigham and combine its world-renowned health care and resources with our community outreach and strategic philanthropic funding model. Through this partnership we are going to ensure increased equity, accessibility, and quality of maternal health care,” said Dr. Makeeba McCreary, President New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund. “By expanding our maternal health care ecosystem and resources, we can bring this conversation and awareness to improve health outcomes for Black and Brown communities not only in our health equity pillar of giving, but also specifically in our pillar areas of criminal justice reform, youth development, and economic empowerment.”
Through the partnership, Mass General Brigham’s support will enable The NCF to identify practitioners and leaders in maternal health equity to join a multi-year cohort that will receive funding, essential support, and technical assistance to grow capacity of providers and the health care workforce. This cohort, along with institutional support from NCF partners, will decrease racial disparities in health outcomes, increase health literacy of Black and Brown communities, and increase Black and Brown professionals in health care in the Commonwealth. The cohort will also be encouraged to engage with other NCF grantees to facilitate additional partnerships and advancements across the NCF’s four pillars: policing & criminal justice reform; economic empowerment; health care equity; and youth education, empowerment & civic engagement.
“A lifetime of health equity begins even before birth. Our partnership with The New Commonwealth Fund will help create a full-circle support system to improve health outcomes of Black and Brown mothers and children for generations to come and support growing and diversifying the workforce to meet these critical needs,” said Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, Chief Community Health Equity Officer for Mass General Brigham.
Mass General Brigham and The NCF chose to mark this partnership following National Maternal Health Awareness Day 2022. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Black patients die during and after pregnancy at a rate three times higher than white patients, and those who are American Indian and Alaska Native die at a rate two times higher than white patients. Currently in Boston, a baby born to a Black mother is three to four times more likely to die by their first birthday than a baby born to a white mother.
“By helping to unravel the influence of decades of structural racism and bias, this investment will enable meaningful progress in our work to eliminate inequities in birth outcomes. We look forward to the myriad ways our collaboration with The New Commonwealth Fund will bring improvements to the maternal care, experience and health of the state’s Black and Brown communities,” said Allison Bryant, MD, MPH, Senior Medical Director for Health Equity, Mass General Brigham, and Chair of the Massachusetts Maternal Mortality Committee.
This new partnership builds on Mass General Brigham’s recently announced $50 million investment in a new, comprehensive community and mental health strategy to improve the health of the communities it serves. In partnership with more than 20 organizations, the initiatives target programs to improve mental healthcare capacity, workforce development, chronic disease management, as well as nutrition security and equity.
Mass General Brigham:
Tim Sullivan [email protected]
About the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund
The New Commonwealth Fund was formed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd by police and other recent, horrific racially charged incidents in this country. The Fund was founded by a coalition of Massachusetts Black and Brown executives for the sole purpose of leveraging their individual and collective power to work together with community organizations to make transformative societal changes by addressing systemic racism and racial inequity in Massachusetts. To learn more about the New Commonwealth Fund or donate to support its mission, go to the New Commonwealth Fund website: www.newcommonwealthfund.org.
About Mass General Brigham
Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic healthcare system, uniting great minds in medicine to make life-changing impact for patients in our communities and people around the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a non-profit organization that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information, please visit massgeneralbrigham.org.