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West Shore Community College’s Humankind series is pleased to announce the event, “Disparities in Maternal and Infant Healthcare: A Panel Discussion” on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. via Zoom. The event is accessible at the following link: https://bit.ly/Humankindwinter24

This event is part of Humankind’s theme this year of Inclusion: Conversations Around a Crowded Table, which focuses on deepening our empathy towards those who are different from us and making sure everyone has a seat at the table or genuine sense of belonging.

“Maternal and infant healthcare outcomes in the United States are surprisingly poor considering we are one of the wealthiest and most advanced countries,” said Megan Sponhauer, WSCC associate professor of nursing and moderator for this event. “Recent statistics show that infant mortality in Michigan occurs at a rate of 6.2 per 1,000 live births. Maternal mortality related to pregnancy and childbirth complications is 19.4 per 100,000 births. Concerning is that we see the highest rates of negative outcomes amongst minority mothers and babies and those facing socioeconomic barriers. It is clear that access to quality care and support for mothers during pregnancy and after childbirth is critical.”

This event will include several experts in the field of maternal and infant care such as a women’s health nurse practitioner, certified midwife, and representative from support services. These professionals know firsthand the barriers women face when it comes to prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum support. This panel will be of special interest to those who work in healthcare or hope to do so in the future, especially those wanting to learn more about maternal and infant healthcare and resources in our area. A recording of the event will be made available on the college’s YouTube page.

Humankind is WSCC’s arts and culture lecture series. The series consists of lectures, presentations, workshops, art exhibitions, film series, and much more. For more information about humankind, please visit westshore.edu or email humankind@westshore.edu.