Seven hundred women in the United States die each year due to pregnancy or delivery complications, according to the CDC. The NIH reports that, compared to white women, Black and Native American women are 2 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy complications.
“Both Penn Medicine and I personally share a goal of decreasing maternal mortality everywhere, and it’s well documented that, nationwide, maternal mortality is significantly higher among Black patients,” said Florencia Greer Polite, MD, chief of the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine.
Polite is among 22 new fellows selected for the 2022 Carol Emmott Fellowship class by the Carol Emmott Foundation, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving gender equity in health care leadership and governance. For her fellowship project, Polite will be designing and initiating a specialized curriculum — intended for non-Black healthcare providers and clinicians — on racial bias and maternal mortality outcomes among Black patients. Calling the disparity between white and Black maternal mortality “unacceptable,” Polite says the goal will be to decrease mortality rates among Black pregnant mothers and Black new mothers and mortality rates among expecting and new mothers overall.See more in the Penn Medicine News Release