nuture new jersey

NJ First Lady's Plan Aims to Cut Childbirth Deaths, Race Gaps

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What to Know

  • New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy has unveiled a sweeping plan to help reduce maternal and infant mortality and racial gaps that experts say lead to deaths.
  • New Jersey has among the worst maternal mortality rates in the country, ranking 47th, according to the plan. It also has a steep race gap. Black mothers in the state are seven times more likely than white mothers to die from pregnancy-related complications, according to the document, which uses state health department data.
  • The 94-page Nurture New Jersey plan comes almost two years to the day since the first lady called for a public awareness campaign about maternal and infant mortality.

New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy on Monday unveiled a sweeping plan to help reduce maternal and infant mortality and racial gaps experts say lead to deaths

The 94-page plan, called Nurture New Jersey, comes almost two years to the day since the first lady called for a public awareness campaign about maternal and infant mortality. Murphy is the spouse of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

New Jersey has among the worst maternal mortality rates in the country, ranking 47th, according to the plan. It also has a steep race gap: Black mothers in the state are seven times more likely than white mothers to die from pregnancy-related complications, according to the document, which uses state health department data.

“This disturbing reality is a result of nothing other than institutional racism. These unacceptable statistics represent the real families who inspire our work," Murphy said in a statement included within the plan. "As we continue our effort, we must treat this crisis as if every mother we lose is our mother, and every baby we lose is our baby.”

Among the recommendations in the plan are calls to classify racism as a public health crisis and to create an Office for State Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

More than a dozen medical and public health professionals authored the document. It was funded by the Nicholson Foundation, a private group based in Newark that finances health policy work, and the Community Health Acceleration Partnership, an organization begun by philanthropists that is aimed at creating effective health system.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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