Virginia aiming to eliminate racial disparity in state's maternal mortality rate by 2025

Maternal mortality rate for black women more than twice as high for white women

(FreeImages.com/Bas Silderhuis)

RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday a goal to eliminate the racial disparity in the maternal mortality rate in Virginia by 2025. 

The maternal mortality rate for black women is more than twice as it is for white women, according to the Office of the Chief Medial Examiner of Virignia.

Northam outlined this goal during a cerimonial signing of House Bill 2456 and House Bill 2613

"A critical component of improving maternal health outcomes is the elimination of the racial disparity we are seeing in Virginia and across the nation." said Northam.

The goal is something the governor is challenging leaders in his administration, as well as private and nonprofit sectors to join. 

Since outlining the goal, Northam has directed different departments to implement a process for expediting enrollment for pregnant women eligible for Medicaid. 

Northam has also directed the Department of Health Professions and the Virginia Department of Health to explore ways to increase explicit bias and cultural competency training for health care professionals.