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In the Room Where It Happens: A Recap of the 2022 AIM Conference

Maggie-exhibit-2022.jpg (2.85 MB)As a relatively new employee, I found the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health (AIM) conference beneficial in terms of learning more and connecting with others in the maternal health field. AIM is a national, cross-sector initiative designed to support best practices that make birth safer, improve maternal health outcomes, and save lives. I garnered more facts and statistics about pregnancy in this country, which will inform my work as the Foundation's Patient Education & Support Manager. I was also able to get a stronger sense of the efforts in different states to make maternity safer and more equitable. The conference focused on how we can better promote equitable care between race, socioeconomic status, location (urban vs. rural), and between patient and provider.
 
Bekah-Tara-Nicole-FaculTEEs.jpg (104 KB)Connecting in person with the patient advocates from our MoMMA's Voices program was by far my favorite part. Our team brought four women with lived experiences, the "four Ts" - Tara Bristol-Rouse, Thaen Hardy, Tamela Milan-Alexander, and Tomeka Isaac - who had served as the faculty (the FaculTEE!) of our recent Community of Learning training program, which helped perinatal quality collaboratives better integrate patient-centric improvement processes. These four women represented different backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and locations, but they were all saying the same thing: "We appreciate the direction this field is headed, but we can do better quicker."
 
For example, more patient advocates with lived experiences attended this year's AIM conference than ever before, but it still only comprised less than a dozen voices in the room getting to represent themselves and other patients like them. Patient Advocate Tamela commented that just a few years ago, patient advocates had been trying to sound like doctors, but recently she has seen a shift. Now, providers and peers are trying to meet patients where they're at so that patient advocates can use their own words to describe their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. I'm really proud of our patient advocates asking tough questions of the maternal health care professionals, and proud of our MoMMA's Voices Program Director Nicole Purnell for doing a great job on her acquired trauma presentation! I got the sense overall that we are headed in the right direction, but we need more actionable ideas.
 
One inspiring action taking place (in which we are involved) is the rollout of educational campaigns to improve aspirin usage in patients at risk for preeclampsia. This conference has inspired me to capitalize on the positive momentum we're experiencing by converting ideas into actions. The patients, providers, and administrators in that room are saving lives of moms and babies!
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It is our collective voice that reduces isolation for others, raises awareness and improves healthcare practices. Let's raise up our voices so more women know about preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome and less women have adverse outcomes!

 

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