In August, the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation formally announced our partnership with Childbirth Connection to establish the Maternity Care Shared Decision Making Initiative. Childbirth Connection has been a leading voice in maternity care quality improvement for over 90 years. "In today's environment, women need access to evidence-based decision tools to help them navigate the complex maternity care system and make informed decisions for a safe and healthy birth. We are excited about the project and can't wait to get started," says Maureen Corry, Childbirth Connection's executive director.
As many of our colleagues are spread across the country, our summer meeting is an opportunity for the many individuals who work on behalf of the Foundation to gather and reflect on what everyone has accomplished in the previous year and to get energized about upcoming projects. We were honored to have Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society, as well as the author of “How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks about Being Sick in America” as our keynote speaker this year. In addition to our keynote presentation, we had a stellar lineup of interactive and thought provoking sessions on Foundation-supported projects from staff, medical editors and esteemed guests.
Effective maternity care with least harm is optimal for childbearing women and newborns. High-quality systematic reviews of the best available research provide the most trustworthy knowledge about beneficial and harmful effects of maternity practices, yet these valuable resources are grossly underutilized in policy, practice, education, and research in the United States. Practices that are disproved or appropriate for mothers and babies in limited circumstances are in wide use, and beneficial practices are underused.