Dr. Amy Raines-Milenkov to serve on maternal mortality task force

Amy Raines-Milenkov, DrPH, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, has been appointed to a state task force to study pregnancy-related deaths and morbidity.

Dr. Raines-Milenkov will serve a five-year term on the Texas Department of State Health Services Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, created in 2013 to study and review pregnancy-related deaths and trends in severe maternal morbidity. It is expected to make recommendations to reduce the number of such deaths and diseases.

"Many people may assume that maternal mortality is a problem that occurs in developing and poor countries," said Dr. Raines-Milenkov, a member of the ForHER Institute at UNTHSC. "However, even though the United States spends more money on health care, the maternal mortality rate of 17.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2009 is much higher than other countries.

"Additionally, there is considerable racial and ethnic disparities in maternal mortality, with black women 3-4 times as likely to die during childbirth or one year postpartum compared to white women. Many of these deaths are preventable."

She said her research and practice interests during the past 15 years have focused on maternal health, preconception health, birth outcomes, and system and social contributors to adverse outcomes.

"I hope to bring my knowledge of the perinatal health care system and the social and behavioral contributors to preconception and maternal health to the task force with the goal of improving the health and well-being of mothers and their infants and families," she said.

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