Maternal Health as a Priority: CMQCC

The readings and discussions from our past couple of classes have focused on maternal mortality as a political priority. Reading the Shiffman article, I thought back to a presentation given at the nursing school on October 6th by Dr. Christine Morton, a research sociologist who is part of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC). CMQCC was founded in 2006, when a study at UCLA revealed that the maternal mortality rate had increased almost 50% since 2001. The California Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Program and the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative teamed up to create CMQCC, to find reasons for this increase and how to prevent future maternal deaths. They analyzed data from many hospitals, formed a quality improvement panel, communicated using newsletters, meetings, and conferences, and formed partnerships with the government, CDC, and other funders, whom they refer to as “champions”. So far, they’ve recorded vast amounts of data for births in California, brought in many stakeholders (such as the American College of Nurse Midwives, Kaiser Health System, and California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development), developed the California Pregnancy-Reated Morality Review Task-force, instituted quality improvement programs in hospitals, and reviewed hospitals.

This reminded me of our discussions because Dr. Morton discussed the importance of the 5C framework in their beginning stages. The 5C framework includes common purpose, cooperative structure, critical mass, collective intelligence, and community building. Their goal was to involve diverse types of organizations and individuals to bring different ideas to the table and collectively solve the problem. Various branches o CMQCC would have small group meetings with key maternity leaders throughout the state where they shared new information and pitched their ideas to obtain funding and support. This approach helped them gain the support and funding from many powerful “actors” in California. Today, they are a very successful organization with many branches working to reduce maternal mortality in California one step at a time.

Here is a link to their website for more information:

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