Increase Access to Quality Health Care Working Group

Improving gaps in access to care for moms, babies and families.

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To curb the rising rates of maternal morbidity and death and poor infant health outcomes, birthing people must have access to high-quality health care throughout their lives.

This working group advances solutions to address the shortage of maternity care providers and facilities, issues tied to health care insurance coverage and affordability, provider bias and access to culturally congruent care, and overall gaps in quality of health care.

They will take actions that include:

  • Advocating for policies to increase equitable access to risk appropriate birthing options
  • Supporting programs that aim to increase racial diversity in the health care workforce
  • Identifying and developing best practices for implicit bias and stigma training for providers and support staff, while also supporting organizations as they examine and alter their own policies and structures that inadvertently perpetuate inequitable care


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Co-Chair: Susan Kendig, JD, WHNP-BC, FAANP

Women’s Health Integration Specialist, SSM Health Maternal Services, St. Louis, MO, and Director of Policy for the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH).

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Tana-kae Lewis, RN, MSN

Alabama Department of Public Health

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Elizabeth Lanter, LCSW

Independent Consultant and Clinician


This working group is comprised of over 40 individual and organizational partners, including:

National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH)
Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance
J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation
Institute for Medicaid Innovation
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
National Healthy Start
National Doula Network
Birth Supporters United
National Nurse Family Partnership
State Medicaid MCH leaders
Local and State Department of Health Leaders

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Every family can have the best possible start. But today, too many moms and babies are dying or experiencing serious health complications related to childbirth­—and far too many are moms and babies of color. Only by working together can we confront inequities and ensure the health and wellbeing of every family.

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