RWJBarnabas Health Recognizes Maternal Health Awareness with a Series of Education Seminars and Events

mom holding her baby close

West Orange, N.J. (January 19, 2022) – In recognition of Maternal Health Awareness, RWJBarnabas Health facilities will host multiple events including a webinar series on maternal health and safety, a blood drive and COVID-19 vaccine and booster clinics for pregnant and post-partum women.

Maternal Health Awareness Day, celebrated on January 23, 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 followed suit and 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, “At RWJBarnabas Health, we are committed to improving maternal health outcomes. With nine birthing centers, we deliver over 25,000 babies each year and we work closely with each facility to ensure standardization and best practices across our system for new and expectant mothers. Through our Maternal Health Awareness initiatives, events, and presentations we aim to provide information and action to promote health equity and further improve maternal health outcomes.”

Virtual Seminars

The virtual seminars will take place from January 19th – January 26th and are all easily accessible via a smartphone or computer. The community webinar series includes:

  • National Maternal Health Awareness Day: Positive Pandemic Pregnancies, Wednesday, January 19th, 1pm-2:00pm. During this webinar, learn the importance of prenatal care, how to keep mom and baby well amid COVID-19, how to keep baby well should mom become COVID positive, if mother can breastfeed COVID positive, the recommended wellness care, the benefits of breast feeding and prevention strategies from Sophia Viamonte, RN-BSN, IBCLC, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset.
  • Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccine, Sunday, January 23rd: 1pm-2:00pm. During this webinar, Dr. Serena Chen a reproductive medicine specialist at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center and IRMS Reproductive Medicine and Dr. Dyese Taylor a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, discuss the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines for expectant families and couples planning a pregnancy.
  • Having a Healthy Pregnancy During a Pandemic, Monday, January 24th: 11:30am-12:00pm. Sarah Rieber, DNP,APN-C, IBCLC, PMH-C will discuss how the pandemic will affect a woman’s pregnancy, delivery and the overall health of their baby and themselves.
  • Understanding Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Wednesday January 26th: 10:30am-11am. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are one of the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth, yet many of us don't know what signs and symptoms to look for. Join us for a conversation with maternal mental health expert Lisa Tremayne, RN, PMH-C,CBC, from Monmouth Medical Center.

For more information on the webinar series, please visit:

Blood Drive

RWJUH New Brunswick is hosting a blood and platelet drive on January 24th, from 8am-6pm to generate awareness of the maternal health crisis in the U.S., including issues affecting childbearing families in New Jersey and pregnancy conditions that may cause hemorrhaging, thus requiring transfusions. The drive is located at The Blood Donor Center in the Clinical Academic Building, 125 Paterson Street, 4th Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. To make an appointment, call 732-235-8100 ext. 221.

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments

Jersey City Medical Center and Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center both have COVID-19 vaccine and booster appointments available for pregnant and post-partum women. The COVID-19 vaccine rates among pregnant and post-partum women around the state are low, and a small, but significant number of unvaccinated pregnant patients are now requiring clinical care. To address this issue, Jersey City Medical Center and Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center will have appointments available for pregnant and post-partum women to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center has appointments available at the Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Vaccine Clinic, located at 94 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston, NJ 07039, on:

  • January 24th; 8:00 to 11:30am, 1:30 to 3:30pm
  • January 25th; 9:00 to 11:30am, 1:30 to 3:00pm
  • January 26th; 8:00 to 11:30am, 1:30 to 4:00pm
  • January 27th; 9:00 to 11:00am
  • January 28th; 9:30 to 11:30am

Walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, please visit

Jersey City Medical Center has appointments available at Jersey City Medical Center, 355 Grand Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302, on:

  • Tuesday, January 25th
  • Friday, January 28th

For more information or to schedule a vaccine appointment at Jersey City Medical Center, contact Sheridan Blackwell at 551-200-3143 or

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center will be hosting educational tables and displays at the facility located at 201 Lyons Ave, Newark, NJ 07112, on Friday, Jan. 21st & Monday, Jan 24th. Members of the community can meet the Maternal Child Health unit/Women’s Health Center teams from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, who help welcome close to 3,000 babies a year to the world. In honor of Maternal Health Awareness Day, they will host an information table with details about their Maternal Health Initiatives which include increasing Vaginal Births After Cesarean (VBAC) delivery rates, decreasing Episiotomy and Nulliparas Transverse Singleton Vertex delivery (NTSV) rates, addressing Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy, Postpartum Depression Screening and reducing the incidence of SIDS *(sudden infant death syndrome), a project recognized by SIDS Center of NJ.

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 twelve acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, 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 at Hamilton in Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in Rahway, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville; Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth; three acute care children's hospitals; Children’s Specialized Hospital, including a network of outpatient centers; a behavioral health center and the state’s largest behavioral health network; two trauma centers; a satellite emergency department; ambulatory care centers; geriatric centers; comprehensive home care and hospice programs; fitness and wellness centers; retail pharmacy services; an affiliated medical group; multi-site imaging centers; and two accountable care organizations.

RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest private employer – with more than 37,000 employees and 9,000 physicians – and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health, in partnership with Rutgers University, is New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research, and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.