D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off the city’s fourth-annual summit Wednesday on Maternal and Infant Health.
The summit’s aim is to spread the word about the importance of prenatal care and the wellness of moms and babies.
Bowser started opening day with a panel discussion on the state of maternal and infant health in the nation’s capital.
“We’re really highlighting the national conversation that needs to happen to change the trajectory of birth outcomes for American women, especially women in Washington. D.C.,” Bowser said.
D.C.’s infant mortality rate is higher than the national average at 7.4 per 1,000 live births, compared to the nation’s overall rate of 5.7 per 1,000 live births, according to the March of Dimes 2020 Report Card.
Wednesday’s opening sessions were livestreamed from a ballroom at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Thursday’s second day of the summit will be entirely virtual.
“Everyone in the District of Columbia, both government, health care officials, parents, anyone who cares about our young families and children and our community’s ability to thrive … we can talk, in a hopeful way,” said head of summit planning Dr. Faith Gibson Hubbard, a mother of two and the director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs.
Participants are invited to register at the Maternal and Infant Health Summit website.