First Lady Tammy Murphy and New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli today held the first meeting of the new, broader Maternal Mortality Review Committee comprised of 24 members representing diverse disciplines across the health field.
The New Jersey Maternal Mortality Review Committee (NJMMRC) is an expert panel that performs comprehensive reviews of deaths among women to determine circumstances surrounding the death, the contributing factors, and recommendations for prevention.
“Today marks a new chapter in our multipronged approach to combat the maternal and infant health crisis in New Jersey,” First Lady Tammy Murphy said. “The revamped Maternal Mortality Review Committee will support our ongoing efforts to identify and understand various factors that lead to unacceptable maternal deaths due to pregnancy-related complications.”
The NJMMRC is among the oldest in the United States and has worked collaboratively under the Department’s auspices for decades.
Last year, legislation signed by Governor Murphy gave the committee increased powers to make informed recommendations and expanded duties to assess drivers of maternal death and disparities. Membership of the committee was prescribed in the statute.
“New Jersey is thankful to have such a broad array of experts serving on this vital committee,” Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli said. “The committee’s examination of these deaths will ensure accurate counting and inform initiatives to prevent these tragic losses going forward.”
During the inaugural meeting, the committee’s history, statutory authority, and the case review process were discussed.
The committee’s work will be supported by a $450,000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant.
Additionally, the Department was awarded a $2.1 million a year grant for five years from the Health Resources and Services Administration to advance health equity and address disparities in maternal health outcomes, which will also help fund the NJMMRC.
The work of the NJMMRC will support Nurture NJ, the First Lady’s statewide awareness campaign that is committed to reducing infant and maternal mortality and morbidity and ensuring equitable maternal and infant care among women and children of all races and ethnicities.