Prevention in Focus

Webinar Series

Addressing Maternal Mortality: Unveiling Racial Disparities and Charting a Path to Change

August 17, 2023
Karie E. Stewart
Karie E. Stewart, M.P.H., M.S.N., CNM, APRN

University of Illinois Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

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About the Webinar

This webinar explores the critical issue of Black maternal mortality, which has emerged as a distressing epidemic. Karie E. Stewart, a Certified Nurse-Midwife and public health practitioner, sheds light on her groundbreaking work aimed at reducing maternal mortality rates.

Through this presentation, Ms. Stewart delves into the profound racial disparities that persist within the realm of maternal health. She presents compelling evidence and share her firsthand experiences, exposing the stark inequities faced by Black mothers. Drawing from her extensive expertise, Ms. Stewart analyzes the underlying factors contributing to this crisis and the urgent need for transformative action.

Furthermore, this webinar serves as a platform to discuss the future directions we can take to combat this pressing issue. Ms. Stewart outlines innovative strategies and propose systemic changes that can help reverse the current trajectory of maternal mortality rates.

About Karie E. Stewart

Karie E. Stewart is a practicing Certified Nurse-Midwife with University of Illinois Mile Square Health Centers and University of Illinois Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. She has been a midwife for six years and is the current President of the American College of Nurse-Midwifery Illinois Chapter Affiliate. She received her master’s degree in nursing from University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and her master’s degree in public health from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

She started a nonprofit organization in 2019 known as Melanated Midwives, which aims to financially support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) student midwives through their midwifery training programs with the goal of diversifying the midwifery workforce. Ms. Stewart is a co-principal investigator (PI) for Melanated Group Midwifery Care, a $7 million Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute-funded project to examine Black Midwives for Black Women: Maternity Care to Improve Trust and Attenuate Structural Racism over the next four years. Her goal is to highlight the effect that the collective use of evidence-based practices such as racial concordant care, group prenatal care, nurse navigation, and postpartum doulas has on addressing the Black maternal health crisis in Chicago and eventually worldwide.

Additionally, she is the PI on a $2 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant that was awarded in June 2023 to UIC Mile Square Health Center for her development, implementation, and evaluation of the Community Maternal Health Care, a maternal health model of care that focuses on a community collaborative approach to address maternal health disparities within an Federally Qualified Health Center in Chicago, Illinois.

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