Warnock brings campaign for better maternal health research to Gainesville

Sen. Raphael Warnock’s visit and participation in a roundtable discussion at Northeast Georgia Medical Center follows his introduction of legislation that would strengthen and expand such research.

The bill would support states in preserving maternal health throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, addressing disparities in maternal health outcomes and finding solutions to enhance health care quality and outcomes for mothers. A recent Georgia study found maternal mortality rates are increasing in Georgia, and 89% of deaths are preventable—this study was funded through the Preventing Maternal Deaths of 2018.

We reported on that study earlier this month, noting that Banks County is among the counties in Georgia deemed by the report to be a “maternity care desert.” Banks is the only county in our area so-classified.

As one of only nine recipients of a $1 million grant awarded to support state-led maternal health innovation, this funding will be used by the health system’s Women and Children’s Services, as well as Georgia Heart Institute, to study and prevent cardiac disease among pregnant and postpartum women.

While Warnock visited NGMC, he also discussed the importance of the Georgia Council for Recovery’s maternal peer support program, which provides certified addiction recovery empowerment specialists – also called CARES – in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). He also took part in a roundtable discussion with system leaders and received a tour of the NICU.