Morehouse School of Medicine Center for Maternal Health Equity Receives $1 Million Grant from Kaiser Permanente

Funding supports MSM's work to examine and address health disparities in maternal care for birthing people of color in Georgia.

ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 16, 2023 – The Center for Maternal Health Equity at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) received a $1 million grant from Kaiser Permanente to support its work of improving maternal health outcomes and addressing conditions of maternal mortality in Georgia. The funding will be used to educate the public on the complications that can occur during pregnancy, childbirth, or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy through MSM's Maternal Near Miss study.

“The profound impact of maternal near miss events on families, healthcare providers and the larger community underscores a critical area demanding urgent attention," said Center for Maternal Health Equity Executive Director Natalie D. Hernandez-Green, PhD, MPH. "Real progress in maternal health can only be achieved by not only reducing maternal mortality but also by diminishing the occurrence of severe complications during pregnancy. Our collaboration with Kaiser Permanente signifies our commitment to amplify the voices of the people who are most impacted and to foster community education on maternal near misses and severe maternal morbidity. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that women and their families receive the indispensable support and resources needed for not just survival, but for thriving in every aspect of their lives."

The Maternal Near Miss study is a collection of stories from birthing persons of color in the US who experienced a maternal near death and explores impacts among support persons, healthcare providers, families, and communities. Study results will be used to influence clinical practice, inform policy and advocacy, and advance healthcare strategies for birthing persons of color. The grant funding is supported through the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Donor-Advised Fund at East Bay Community Foundation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Many factors contribute to this disparity, including socioeconomic conditions, variations in care, underlying chronic health issues, and structural racism. A lack of access to screenings and treatment amplifies the problem, especially for Black women who are disproportionately affected by these conditions.

“Kaiser Permanente is continuously searching for innovative ways to eradicate health disparities and improve maternal health outcomes in Georgia,” said Pam Shipley, regional president for Kaiser Permanente in Georgia. “Strategic partnerships coupled with advanced healthcare strategies like our Cocoon Pregnancy Care Model, are examples of our ongoing commitment to better meet the needs of expectant mothers.”

In 2022, Kaiser Permanente provided $200k in grant funding to community partners to help enhance prenatal and postnatal care, reduce the rate of low birthweight births and infant mortality, and address disparities in maternal care. Visit  to learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s work in the community.

To learn more about the MSM Center for Maternal Health Equity, please visit

For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, please visit

About Morehouse School of Medicine

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation’s number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission — the creation and advancement of health equity. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master’s degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit or call 404-752-1500.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve almost 12.6 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. As Georgia’s largest non-profit health plan, Kaiser Permanente has 317,000 members in 28 counties in metro Atlanta and four counties near Athens.


Jamille Bradfield
Director, External Communications,
Media Relations & Crisis Communications
Morehouse School of Medicine