Project Summary

Background: Black maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity are public health concerns in Kansas and Missouri. Black women in Kansas (maternal, 69.8/100,000) and Missouri (maternal, 91.9/100,000) die at three times White women in Kansas (26.6/100,000) and Missouri (32.9/100,000). Severe maternal morbidity (SMM), also known as a near miss, is unexpected and highly preventable and occurs nearly 100 times more frequently than maternal death. Black women are disproportionately more likely to experience SMM in Kansas (110.4 per 100,000) and Missouri (212.9 per 100,000) related to severe pre-eclampsia.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: The Kansas Birth Equity Network (KBEN), Obstetrics/Gynecology diversity, equity, inclusive (DEI) taskforce, and Truman Health Center- Missouri, along with patient partners, will convene a two-day regional virtual conference on research engagement and building capacity in near-missed severe Black maternal morbidity in two Midwest states and develop a stakeholder-driven strategic roadmap and infographic on SMM and preeclampsia patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR)/comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER).

AIM 1: Recruit Missouri stakeholders and sustain KBEN stakeholders to convene six virtual stakeholder meetings to build consensus on near-missed severe maternal morbidity related to preeclampsia messaging, and dissemination strategies to increase stakeholder participation at the regional conference.

AIM 2: Convene a virtual regional Birth Equity conference to increase awareness and improve education on near-missed maternal morbidity and disseminate PCOR/CER strategies.

AIM 3:  Create an online interactive stakeholder-driven strategic roadmap and infographic for engaging regional stakeholders in SMM and severe preeclampsia PCOR/CER.

Activities: The conference will include keynote speakers from PCORI-funded science and engagement projects, stakeholder panel presentations, patient panel presentations, and workshop sessions that focus on the prevention of SMM related to severe preeclampsia.
The convenings will consist of presentations from researchers, health department workers, health system leads, and providers to discuss regional SMM and preeclampsia research; a patient-led panel on birthing experiences; and a father’s lounge on SMM and preeclampsia. The convenings will conclude with a virtual preeclampsia birth justice walk to solidify patient engagement.

Projected Outcomes and Outputs: The short-term goal of the project is to engage additional Midwest stakeholders (n=64), convene a two-day virtual conference (n=250 participants), develop an online interactive stakeholder-driven strategic roadmap for engaging regional stakeholders and a roadmap, and regional stakeholder engagement to convene shared goals to reduce SMM and severe preeclampsia in two Midwest states.

Short-term outcomes during the project period include engaging additional Midwest stakeholders, convening a two-day virtual conference on SMM related to preeclampsia. 

Medium-term outcomes (0-2 years post-project period) include engaging stakeholders and patients to participate in the online interactive stakeholder-driven strategic roadmap and infographic for engaging regional stakeholders in SMM and severe preeclampsia PCOR/CER.

Long-term outcomes (3+ years post-project period) include regional stakeholder engagement for continual engagement of shared goals to reduce SMM and severe preeclampsia in two Midwest states and disseminating the convening results and roadmap via the web, virtual community forums, and local, state, and national conferences.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: This engagement project builds on the work of KBEN and the Kansas Sisters and Brothers for Healthy Infants Celebrate Day 366 virtual summit focused on addressing infant morbidity and mortality through PCOR/CER. The engagement activities will be expanded across two Midwest states including a two-day conference, virtual engagement meetings, evaluation, an online interactive stakeholder-driven strategic roadmap and infographic, planned engagement through our listserv, Kansas Heartland Health Equity Conference, University of Kansas Summit on Community-Engaged Learning and Scholarship, and patient-centered care virtual conference.

Project Collaborators: The project collaborators are March of Dimes, Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition and Wichita Black Breastfeeding Coalition, Kansas Children Service League, ICT Baby Bump Studio, Wyandotte and Sedgwick County Health Departments, Village Clinic, Youth Empowerment Services, United Healthcare, Moms Clinic, Truman University Health System, Uzazi Village, Cradle Kansas City, Wichita Birth Justice Society, KSBHI, Healthy Start, Kansas Maternal Mortality Review Committee, Kansas Fourth Trimester Initiative, United Health, and New Birth Company.

Project Information

Sharla Smith, BS, MPH, PhD
University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute

Key Dates

May 2023


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: April 12, 2024