Supporting Maternal Mortality Prevention in Indian Country

About the Project

American Indian infants experience twice the mortality rate of Caucasian infants.1 American Indian mothers die at a rate 2-3 times higher than Caucasian mothers.2 The health disparities American Indian parents and infants encounter result in higher mortality rates. Living in rural areas with limited access to healthcare, specifically culturally responsive health care, is a contributing factor.2 The Supporting Maternal Mortality Prevention in Indian Country through Public Health Institutes initiative, a partnership between the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC), the National Networks of Public Health Institutes(NNPHI), and the American Indian Public Health Resource Center(AIPHRC) will support tribally led implementation of maternal mortality review committees(MMRCs) in tribal communities to aide in the reduction of American Indian maternal deaths.

Goals of the Project

  • Conducting a series of maternal health listening sessions to better understand maternal health priorities, assess and plan for maternal health improvement programs and strategies, and further assess the role of the Tribally-led maternal mortality review committees in various contexts.
  • Assessing and identifying policy barriers and/or facilitators for developing, implementing, and sustaining a Tribally-led public health focused MMRC activities across US Tribal jurisdictions.
  • Disseminating educational materials on maternal warning signs, such as the CDC Hear Her campaign materials, among various regions or geographies in Indian Country

Contact Us

For more information, please reach out to Leah Ettman, Associate Director of Bridging Sectors to Create Health (

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.Infant Mortality and American Indians/Alaska Natives available at
  2. Kozhimannil KB. Indigenous Maternal Health—A Crisis Demanding Attention. JAMA Health Forum. Published online May 18, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2020.0517

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