Westchester Medical Center launches program to advance women's health equity

The first-of-its-kind program in the Hudson Valley will address the social, economic, cultural and racial health determinants that result in higher levels of maternal mortality among women, particularly of color.

Jonathan Gordon

Jun 29, 2023, 9:38 PM

Updated 353 days ago

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The Westchester Medical Center Health Network launched its Center for Women's Health Equity program on Thursday.
The first-of-its-kind program in the Hudson Valley will address the social, economic, cultural and racial health determinants that result in higher levels of maternal mortality among women, particularly of color.
"We expect the Center for Women's Health Equity to help improve outcomes for the women WMCHealth serves," said WMCHealth President Michael Israel.
 Maternity health is a significant issue across the nation but particularly alarming in New York where Black and Hispanic women are five times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the state health department.
The state Health Department lists heart disease, embolism and diabetes as the leading causes of death in pregnant women.
The Westchester Medical Center program will integrate specialists in maternal-fetal medicine with its heart and vascular program clinicians to take a more proactive and holistic view of these elevated risk factors.
"Providing comprehensive maternal care is at the heart of our mission," said Dr. Ashanda Saint Jean, the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston.
The program is available to all women, particularly those at the highest risk for pregnancy complications.
The program aims to reduce cesarean delivery rates associated with health complications, enhance access to mental health and provide comprehensive prenatal care.
The Center for Health Equity was funded through a $750,000 grant from the state.
The program will have locations at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla and another at HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston, Ulster County.


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