ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, at the 2016 CGI America meeting, Square Roots announced a new Commitment to Action to launch “BIRTH 40™: The Coalition of Cities Improving Birth.” BIRTH 40™ will address the dire state of maternal and infant health in the United States through a network of 40 American cities, which will receive resources, access to technology solutions, leading research and programs, and a blueprint of best practices to improve maternal health in their communities.
The commitment will invest $4.15 million over the next four years to build and support BIRTH 40™, adding ten new member cities each year. Following an initial needs assessment conducted with city leadership, the network will connect to families, care providers, city agencies, and other key stakeholders in the local community. Customized educational resources, technology solutions, and a birth plan system will be provided to city partners and expecting mothers within member cities.
“Cities are the points of greatest leverage for change at scale. BIRTH 40™ was designed to combine this unique capacity of the civic platform with the resources and expertise of the private sector, starting with Square Roots,” said Morad Fareed, founder and CEO of Square Roots. “By equipping local leadership with national experts, inventive technology, our BIRTH™ platform, and a network of peers, this new medium will provide non clinical maternal care for families across the United States in a more targeted, equitable, and impactful way.”
BIRTH 40™ member cities will have access to a customized version of Square Roots’ BIRTH™ platform, which includes:
- Birth Plan: An educational birth plan tool and system customized to cities
- Information: Advisory and collaboration between network cities, a blueprint for best practices and educational curriculum to implement solutions locally
- Ratings: Nationwide ratings system, benchmarking city level IQ on hospital ratings, and access to proprietary database
- Technology: Innovative solutions to foster collaboration and information sharing between and within cities, by creating a new medium of perinatal care through accessible kiosks and technology products within each community
- Human Centered: Access to evidence-based research library, a comprehensive needs assessment, index of human data, and cross-city summits to encourage further engagement within network
“Improving maternal health must be a priority for leaders at all levels of government, in all corners of the country, and on both sides of the aisles,” said Senator Olympia J. Snowe, the former United States Senator from Maine and a Square Roots Advisor. “BIRTH 40™ demonstrates the potential to improve public services through cross-sector and cross-city collaboration, and its innovative approach will lead to better health outcomes for our nation’s mothers and infants.”
“As a mayor, the health, safety, and well-being of my citizens is my top priority,” said Mayor-elect Darryl Grennell of Natchez, Mississippi. “Having seen Square Roots work with mothers in Natchez, I’m incredibly excited about the potential for BIRTH 40™ to bring their knowledge and networks to even more communities. I look forward to working with and learning from other mayors as part of the BIRTH 40™ network.”
Modeled on the successful C40 coalition for carbon reduction, the BIRTH 40™ builds on Square Roots past leadership engaging cities in a national effort to improve maternal and infant health. Square Roots has identified several U.S. cities focused on improving health outcomes by introducing a resolution on maternal health at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors last summer in 2015. Recruitment for the first BIRTH 40™ network members will focus on these cities, as well as other high-need communities.
The BIRTH 40™ commitment comes at a time of incredible need for new solutions and swift action. The United States maternal health ranking is the worst of all developed countries. Pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. nearly doubled from 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 14 deaths per 100,000 in 2015. The average woman in the U.S. is two times more likely to die from childbirth than a Canadian woman, while mothers in Mississippi are 2.5 times more likely to die from childbirth than mothers in the state of Arizona.
The United States spends more on healthcare and pregnancy than countries with far better outcomes. A lack of focus, collaboration, and information has produced a highly-fragmented, highly-ineffective system of care for mothers across America. BIRTH 40™ will bridge these gaps and empower cities to deliver quality care in their local communities.
About Square Roots
Square Roots (www.squareroots.com) is a mission-driven business focused on defining and empowering healthy birth. By integrating new technology and scientific findings with intelligent partnerships from medicine to policy to maternal care takers, Square Roots brings needed solutions and resources to the most critical period of life: our beginning. We identify the highest impact programs and tools that have a proven health impact for Mothers and coordinate the distribution of these programs and tools between academia, policy, public agencies, and private companies.
Follow Square Roots on Twitter with @SquareRootsLife. Follow Urban Zen on Facebook and Instagram with @SquareRootsBirth.
About Clinton Global Initiative America
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America brings together leaders from the business, philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors to develop solutions that encourage economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States. CGI America’s annual convening is designed to be a working meeting that promotes collaboration. Each CGI America participant makes a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable plan that supports increased economic growth and opportunity. To date, CGI America participants have made more than 500 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 2.4 million people.