The quality of case review and recommendations directly aligns with the expertise and experience of the individuals serving on the Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC).
Members of MMRCs contribute their expertise during the review process and are stewards of the recommendations of the committee with their home organizations. Continuously review your data and your membership to ensure that committee composition includes members from and organizations representing the communities most impacted by maternal mortality in your jurisdiction.
Guiding Principles for Membership
- The MMRC members should represent a variety of clinical and psychosocial disciplines and specializations and work in and represent diverse communities from different geographic regions in the state, especially those most affected. The diversity of the multidisciplinary committee should be specified in statute, when possible.
- Members should include representatives of community-based members and organizations. Community-based organizations (CBO) provide culturally congruent care and support that disrupt toxic stress and addresses the root causes of racial disparities in maternal health. CBOs and community members know best how to support Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other birthing People of Color. Historically, these individuals and organizations have been excluded from MMRCs. Include people with lived experience and family members impacted by maternal morbidity or mortality or who are already working as local advocates. Ensure that such individuals are open to speaking about their experiences to prevent re-introducing trauma.
- In addition to representing key disciplines, MMRC members should be decision-makers within organizations and agencies with influence implementing recommendations produced by the MMRC.
States differ in how they identify or appoint committee members. Strategies for identifying and vetting MMRC members should be consistently implemented with an emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion. There is no recommended number of members. MMRCs must consider the expertise needed to address their mission, vision, scope, and goals and the ability to reach consensus during case reviews.
Tips to Retain Members
- Train committee members. Produce orientation materials on the MMRC and its role in public health surveillance. Ensure each committee member completes training focused on identifying and managing implicit bias in all steps of the review process.
- Offer incentives. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology now offers Maintenance of Certification for physicians serving on MMRCs as an activity under Part IV Improvement in Medical Practice.
- Provide food and beverages during committee meetings.
- Recognize members’ participation with certificates, regular expressions of gratitude, or features in newsletter articles.
- Provide honoraria for community organizations’ and members’ participation. Ensure equitable engagement of their expertise in all steps of the review process.
MMRCs should include representatives from the following organizations or agencies:
Members of MMRCs should represent the following disciplines:
MMRCs should consider adding representatives with the following specializations to enhance the comprehensiveness of the review process:
Behavioral Health Agencies
Community-Based Doula Program
Federally Qualified Health Centers
Healthy Start Agencies
Local WIC Program
Private and Public Insurers
Professional Assoc. State Chapters
Rural Health Associations
State Medicaid Agency
State Medical Society
State Title V Program
State Title X Programs
Violence Prevention Agencies
Community Birth Workers
Maternal Fetal Medicine/Perinatology
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Critical Care Medicine
Mental Health Provider
Public Health Nursing