Jan 22, 2021 RWJBarnabas Health Recognizes Maternal Health Awareness Day With a Week-Long Series of Community and Inter-Professional Virtual Seminars

West Orange, NJ, January 22 2021 – RWJBarnabas Health, the most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, in conjunction with Rutgers University, The Tara Hansen Foundation, and the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium (CJFHC), will recognize Maternal Health Awareness Day with a week-long series of inter-professional virtual seminars on maternal health and safety.

Maternal Health Awareness Day, celebrated on January 23, 2021, was established by the state of New Jersey in 2018 to raise awareness and provide education to both health care providers and families about maternal health. While New Jersey was the first state to formally recognize maternal health, safety and mortality issues with an annual event, other state, advocacy and community organizations have since begun to participate in this day of recognition.

“Maternal morbidity and mortality remain a public health crisis in New Jersey,” said Suzanne Spernal, DNP, APN-BC, RNC-OB, CBC, Vice President of Women’s Services, RWJBarnabas Health, “Through presentations, panels, and robust conversations with maternal health experts, we will provide information and action steps to promote health equity and improve maternal health outcomes.”

The virtual seminars will take place from January 23 – January 29, 2021 and are all accessible virtually on a smartphone or computer.

The series kicks-off with an event for pregnant women and families on January 23 at 10am with Having a Healthy Pregnancy During a Pandemic, led by Ms. Spernal and Todd Rosen, MD, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, and director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The session will address pregnancy and delivery concerns common during COVID-19 and will also feature Mia Sapp, a community health worker with Healthy Women, Healthy Families at the CJFHC, and Kathy Donaldson, MSN, APN, C, WHNP-BC, RNC-OB, CPLC, C-EFM, program coordinator of CJFHC's Perinatal Mood Disorders Initiative. Registration available here.

The inter-professional seminars are designed for all OB/GYN physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, midwives, genetic counselors, social workers, residents, fellows, medical students, emergency department providers, family medicine practitioners, and psychiatrists/psychologists. Featured inter-professional seminars include:

Monday, January 25th

Tuesday, January 26th

  • How Doulas Affect Maternal Outcomes, hosted by RWJBarnabas Health from 11am – 12pm
  • Improving Maternal and Fetal Outcomes through the Use of the Midwifery Model of Care, hosted by RWJBarnabas Health from 1 – 1:30pm

Wednesday, January 27th

Thursday, January 28th

Friday, January 29th

Healthcare professionals and community members may also participate in Maternal Health Awareness Day on social media using the hashtag #123Moms.

RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering nine counties with five million people. The system includes eleven acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton in Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in Rahway and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, three acute care children’s hospitals and a leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital with a network of outpatient centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, affiliated medical groups, multi-site imaging centers and an accountable care organization.

RWJBH is New Jersey’s largest private employer – with more than 35,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns – and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBH and Rutgers University have partnered to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBH with Rutgers’ education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey - the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - and Rutgers University Behavioral Health.