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Briefing series

Johns Hopkins Congressional Briefing Series

The Johns Hopkins Congressional Briefing Series allows policymakers, their staff, and members of the public to gain up-to-the-minute insights and analysis from Johns Hopkins experts. Every other month, faculty experts provide a timely briefing on a policy topic with opportunity for real-time Q&A.

Watch the archived broadcast

Maternal health in the U.S.

Thursday, May 12 | 12:30–1:30 p.m. EDT

The briefing included discussion of the following topics:

  • Maternal mortality and severe morbidity trends
  • National initiatives to address those trends
  • The implications of maternal morbidity for women’s future health
  • Initiatives to reduce racial-ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes
  • The Maryland Maternal Health Innovation Program (MDMOM)
  • Trauma-informed care as it relates to maternal health


The following Johns Hopkins experts are scheduled to speak:

Moderator: Andreea Creanga, MD, PhD, is an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Creanga is also program director for MDMOM, associate director of the International Center for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and associate faculty at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Her research focuses on perinatal quality and safety both domestically and internationally. Creanga is a member of the Maryland Maternal Mortality Review Committee. She has received numerous professional honors, including the U.S. government’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Kelly Bower, PhD, MSN/MPH, RN, is an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, and a member of the MDMOM project team. Dr. Bower’s research and her public health nursing practice focus on the elimination of racial disparities in women’s, maternal, and infant health. Bower applies a community-engaged approach to her research that comes from her 18 years of experience practicing as a public health nurse and involvement with the Baltimore City Health Department, the B’More for Healthy Babies Initiative, and the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR).

Garima Sharma, MBBS, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology and Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her clinical and research interests are in cardiovascular disease in pregnancy, specifically adverse pregnancy outcomes and cardiovascular risks, post-partum prevention of complications from hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and gender equity. She is co-author of the American Heart Association Scientific Statement on Cardiovascular Consideration in Caring for Pregnant Patients. Dr. Sharma has led several national initiatives for professional development of fellows in training and is president of the Maryland Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.

Carmen Alvarez, PhD, MSN, RN, is an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Dr. Alvarez’s research focuses on the development and implementation of health promotion and risk reduction interventions primarily for underserved ethnic-minority women with a history of trauma—specifically adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and intimate partner violence (IPV). Alvarez’s research goals are to identify and better understand intervening variables in the relationship between ACEs/IPV and poor health to inform culturally tailored interventions for this population.

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