Cephas joins Philadelphia mayor and MERCK for Mothers foundation to announce $1 million grant to reduce citywide maternal mortality rates

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 13 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila, vice chair of the House Democrats’ Women’s Health Caucus, today joined Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and others to applaud the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the Philadelphia Health Federation for securing a $ 1 million grant from MERCK for Mothers to support efforts to decrease maternal mortality in Philadelphia.

The grant will support the Philadelphia Maternal Mortality Review Committee and create a local action team to address the daunting, increasing maternal mortality rates and improve maternal health outcomes.

“When it comes to maternal care, Philadelphia has abysmal maternal mortality rates, at 27.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. The city’s rising rates are among poor maternal mortality across the commonwealth,” Cephas said. “This grant is a great start to improve outcomes for women and families in Philadelphia. It will also support efforts that can help to provide a clearer understanding of the causes and correlations of maternal deaths, so we can better track them and save lives.”

In addition to her leadership role on the House Democrats’ Women’s Health Caucus, Cephas chairs the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus’ Subcommittee for Women and Girls of Color and has been a stalwart at addressing the rise in pregnancy-related deaths. She has coordinated meetings with stakeholders in Philadelphia and across the state, including the city’s health department and area delivery hospitals to discuss potential solutions, spearheaded the efforts of the Philadelphia Women’s Commission’s Maternal Mortality Initiative, and hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing earlier this year to better assess the issue.

“We must do more. We’re now learning that these perplexing statistics of maternal mortality in the city and across the state point to key factors,” Cephas said. “It is time for us to take what we know to create and implement actionable solutions.”

Cephas expressed confidence that the grant will assist the city’s health department and the local and state Maternal Mortality Review committees in mitigating maternal mortality crisis across the commonwealthThis announcement comes after Cephas applauded the Wolf administration for securing a $2.25 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support efforts in decreasing maternal deaths in Pennsylvania.