The Washington State Maternal Mortality Review Panel first convened in 2016 in accordance with RCW 70.54.450. The Department of Health is directed by law to convene a multidiscplinary review panel to conduct comprehensive reviews of maternal deaths in the state to identify factors surrounding the deaths and make recommendations to policy makers for healthcare and systems changes to improve perinatal care for all people in Washington. The panel currently has 72 members from across the state, meets throughout the year, and with the Department of Health, reviews all pregnancy-associated deaths to determine if they are pregnancy related and preventable. In 2016, there were 90,489 live births in Washington and a total of 9 pregnancy-related deaths. Our mission is to reduce maternal mortality and inequities in maternal mortality throughout the state, develop a better understanding of how social determinants of health impact maternal health outcomes, increase awareness of the factors cotnributing to maternal mortality and morbidity, and improve the overall wellbeing of parents and families in our state.
|Organizations||Core Disciplines||Specialty Disciplines|
Behavioral Health Agencies
Community-Based Doula Program
Federally Qualified Health Centers
Private and Public Insurers
Professional Assoc. State Chapters
State Medicaid Agency
State Medical Society
State Title V Program
Violence Prevention Agencies
Community Birth Workers
Maternal Fetal Medicine/Perinatology
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Critical Care Medicine
Mental Health Provider
Public Health Nursing
Washington Success Story: Amending MM Laws to Require Reporting and Autopsy
Washington state successfully amended the state maternal mortality review law (RCW 70.54.450) requiring hospitals and birthing centers to report deaths that occur at their facility within 42 days of pregnancy to the county coroner/medical examiner offices for investigation and autopsy. Additionally, the Washington state Maternal Mortality Review Panel (MMRP) successfully rolled out recommendations and guidance for investigations and autopsies of deaths that occur within one year of pregnancy.
Links to the maternal mortality law and the autopsy guidelines can be found on the Washington state MMRP website at www.doh.wa.gov/maternalmortality.
Washington Success Story: Implementation of Equity-Related Process Improvements (Apr 2022)
The Washington State Maternal Mortality Review Panel (MMRP) implemented equity-related process improvements to ensure its reviews identified bias, structural racism, and health and social inequities in maternal deaths.
Washing Success Story: Mini-Grant Opportunity Funds Projects to Provide Education on Perinatal Behavioral Health Conditions, Treatment & Resources (Apr 2022)
In their 2019 report, the Washington State Maternal Mortality Review Panel made a recommendation to “increase knowledge and skill of providers, patients, and families about behavioral health conditions during and after pregnancy, and the treatment and resources that are available for support.” In response, the Washington State Department of Health released a behavioral health mini-grant opportunity to fund projects that focused on the Panel’s recommendation. Fifteen organizations applied and 5 were selected. Each project is funded for 12 months using funds from ERASE MM, the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant.