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February 25, 2022

Around the nation: Pregnancy-related deaths increased amid Covid-19 pandemic

Daily Briefing

    The maternal mortality rate in the United States climbed to 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2020, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Maryland, Minnesota, and Texas.

    • Maryland: A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics found that the maternal mortality rate in the United States climbed to 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2020—an increase from 20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019. Although the United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among developed countries, the mortality rates among Black and Hispanic people are even higher. For instance, in 2020, there were 55.3 maternal deaths per 100,000 births among Black people—almost three times higher than the rate for white people. "Our maternal morbidity and mortality is the highest in the developed world, and the trend is continuing despite our awareness of it, despite our maternal-mortality review committees, despite attention in the press," said Kara Zivin, a professor of psychiatry, obstetrics, and gynecology at the University of Michigan. "Whatever we're doing is clearly not enough to address either the overall rate or the disparities." (Rabin, New York Times, 2/23; Reed, Axios, 2/23; AP/Modern Healthcare, 2/23)
    • Minnesota: Cuyuna Regional Medical Center on Monday appointed Amy Hart as its CEO. As the hospital's CEO, Hart leads roughly 1,000 workers and manages a $154 million budget. Before she was named CEO, Hart previously served as COO of Cuyuna Regional, as well as interim CEO. The hospital has not yet appointed a new COO. (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/22)
    • Texas: HCA Healthcare on Wednesday announced that Jeanette Pennick had been appointed chief nursing officer of HCA Houston Healthcare-Pearland. On January 1, Pennick officially stepped into the role after serving as the hospital's interim chief nursing officer since September 2021. Previously, she served as the hospital's director of emergency services. Before joining the hospital, she held several positions at three other health care systems in Houston, including a critical care nurse, educator, and nursing leader. (Masson, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/23)

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