Families USA and the Black Mamas Matter Alliance Respond to the Senate HELP Committee’s Workforce Shortage RFI
Families USA is a leading national, non-partisan voice for health care consumers that centers our work around four pillars: value, equity, coverage, and consumer experience. Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Inc. (BMMA) is a national network of Black women-led organizations and multi-disciplinary professionals that centers Black women and birthing people to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice. Families USA and the Black Mamas Matter Alliance sent this letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee in response to their request for information about current health care workforce shortages. This response highlights that the broader shortage is tied to the existing maternal health care crisis and provider shortage, with 6.9 million women in the United States living in maternity care deserts where they have little to no access to a hospital or birth center offering maternity care, and an obstetrics provider, including a midwife.
To improve access to care in maternity care deserts and address the workforce shortage, the focus cannot only be on increasing the number of obstetricians graduating from medical school and moving to rural areas. We must also grow and support our community-based workforce, which includes doulas, midwives, peer support personnel, and maternity community health workers.
To read the full response from Families USA and the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, please click the download button below.