Shining a clear and illuminating light on the maternal health crisis in D.C. at a critical legislative moment

(Pro Bono) - Winter 2017-2018

Objective: Support the leadership of District of Columbia midwives in raising awareness of a growing maternal health crisis in the District.

Project: At the end of 2017, Washington, D.C. had a $2.4 billion surplus, yet ranked dead last in the country for child mortality. Worse, the geographic disparities in hospital locations cause a striking impact on the level of care women and babies receive based on race. The goal of this pro bono collaboration was to elevate awareness of this crisis in advance of a key legislative hearing on the topic.

Components: Work with midwives in D.C. and Lone Pine Creative to produce a compelling video to be shared on social media and at events. Release video and conduct targeted outreach to key organizational partners and influential press outlets days before a key D.C. Council committee hearing.

Result: The 2.5-minute video was posted on the DC Chapter of the American College of Nurse Midwives’ Facebook page in late January 2018. Within days, it was organically shared more than 600 times and viewed more than 25,000 times. Aglet Strategies successfully pitched for midwife and Johns Hopkins Ph.D. candidate Christina Fleming Marea to appear on the KoJo Nnamdi show in early February 2018 to discuss, “Why Is Maternal Mortality So High In Washington?”

Real World Impact: The video and press outreach helped raise awareness about the maternal health crisis in D.C. at a crucial moment and provided an additional tool for advocates working to improve public policy and reduce maternal health disparities. In mid-February 2018, the D.C. Council gave preliminary approval for a bill to create a Maternal Mortality Review Committee. The bill passed fully in the summer of 2018 and received funding on October 1, 2018.

Ginny Simmons