MoMMAs Voices Program Receives CDC Award to Connect Patients to Maternal Health Quality Improvement Projects

The Preeclampsia Foundation announced today that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded new funding for its MoMMAs Voices program, a national coalition of patient advocacy organizations and individuals with "lived experience" – or those that represent them. This award will help MoMMAs Voices to expand their engagement with state perinatal quality collaboratives to ensure the patient voice is integrated into quality improvement projects, particularly those focusing on substance use disorder and maternal mental health.

Maternal mortality rates in the United States are alarmingly high, with 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births. This rate is ten times higher than in other high income countries and is increasing. A 2021 CDC report found that maternal mortality rate rose from 861 deaths in 2020 to 1,205 deaths in 2021.

What's even more concerning is that 80% of these maternal deaths were deemed preventable. MoMMAs Voices goal is to bridge the gap between what happens to patients during their maternal health experiences and the quality improvement initiatives designed to improve that experience.  The program provides certified training for patient and family members with a "lived experience”, maternal health organizations, and healthcare providers to ensure a productive partnership and a culture of patient inclusion is a part of all patient care and quality improvement practices.

“We are thrilled to receive this award from the CDC,” said Preeclampsia Foundation Chief Executive Officer Eleni Tsigas. “This funding will allow us to expand our programmatic reach and ensure that the patient voice is authentically included in the development of quality improvement projects.”

MoMMAs Voices continues to receive national attention for its integrated approach, which prioritizes deep partnership between providers and patients to create better care for all.

“We are developing an innovative, inclusive curriculum specifically designed to equip patient family partners with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully engage with these initiatives,” said MoMMAs Voices Program Manager Nicole Purnell. She emphasized that focused outreach to historically marginalized populations will be critical to the success of the project.

The MoMMAs Voices program team will work in partnership with Abt Associates, a global consulting and research firm that specializes in evaluation, research, technical assistance and implementation. The partnership will further develop the evidence base for the inclusion of patient experiences in quality improvement. Training resources and tools will be co-designed by Tara Bristol Rouse, a Principal at Partnership Health Advisors and noted expert on healthcare quality, safety, equity, and patient experience.

For more information about MoMMAs Voices’ training programs, please visit

About the Preeclampsia Foundation and MoMMAs Voices

MoMMAs (Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Advocates) Voices, a program of the Preeclampsia Foundation, is the first-ever maternal health patient advocacy coalition established in 2018, to amplify the voices of people who have experienced childbirth complications or loss - especially those who have been historically marginalized - ensuring they are equipped and activated as partners with providers and researchers to improve maternal health outcomes. The program is supported by a grant through Merck for Mothers. For more information, visit and

Related Articles