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Maternal Mortality and Being a Black Woman in America

courtesy Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The United States is most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth--and the mothers most at risk … are African Americans. This afternoon Johns Hopkins is convening a dozen experts for ideas that could change that picture. The symposium also honors Shalon Irving, an black alumna who worked to eliminate health disparities. Still, three weeks after she gave birth, high blood pressure took her life. We talk with OB-GYN Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, who sees her friend’s death as a call for change. We also meet Dr. Michelle Ogunwole, a primary-care, internal medicine physician at Johns Hopkins and Tanjala Purnell, PhD, associate director for education in Johns Hopkins’ Center for Health Equity, as well as assistant professor of surgery, epidemiology and health behavior. They discuss symposium topics and shed light on this important issue.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a Senior Producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'