The U.S. Maternal Health Crisis

IT'S TIME TO REVERSE THE TREND

The United States is one of few high-income countries where deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth are on the rise, and nearly 60% of these deaths are preventable. Leading causes of maternal death include excessive bleeding, high blood pressure, and blood clots. The rise in chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity is also contributing to pregnancy and childbirth complications. In addition, there are persistent and stark racial disparities in maternal mortality; a Black woman in the U.S. is three to four times more likely to die than a White woman. Given that most maternal deaths are preventable, we need to understand why women are dying to help save lives. Let’s work together to turn awareness into action, and help moms everywhere.


Five Steps You Can Take to Reverse the Rise in U.S. Maternal Deaths:

1. Find Out Why Maternal Deaths and Complications Occur: More than half of maternal deaths happen after childbirth during the postpartum period. Educate yourself, new parents and others in your community about the signs of a potential complication and how to advocate for yourself.

2. Learn About What Your State Is Doing: Not all states review maternal deaths but all should. Find out if your state has a maternal mortality review committee.

3. Raise Awareness: Whether in-person or on social media, start conversations about the U.S. maternal mortality crisis and ask others to take action. Click here to learn more and watch a short film “Reverse,” an emotional, generational passage based on real experiences of women across the U.S. on their journey to motherhood. Be sure to use #EndMaternalMortality.

4. Share Your Story and Time: If you’re a survivor or impacted family-member, get involved with advocacy groups, including the Preeclampsia Foundation, who are forming a national coalition of patient organizations and individuals to improve maternal health outcomes for all women. In Pennsylvania, volunteer at organizations like the Maternity Care Coalition.

5. Encourage Your Local Communities to Take Action:  The Merck for Mothers "Safer Childbirth Cities" initiative is supporting cities across the country to help women have a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth. Encourage your local maternal health organizations to join efforts.

The PA Conference for Women would like to thank Merck for Mothers for their organization's leadership on this important topic, and for educating our conference community about the ways each of us can help solve the problem.To learn more, stop by the Merck booth (#1313) in the Exhibit Hall.

3 Facts About Ambition That Will Help You Succeed

Hana Schank

Hana Schank

When careers don’t go as planned, what went wrong—and how do people adjust? Seeking to find answers that would help them navigate their own paths, Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace interviewed all of their sorority sisters who graduated with them from Northwestern University in 1993. What they learned was “life-changing,” Schank says, because it gave validity to their choices, and she saw “I wasn’t just flailing here and there.”

But you don’t have to be going through a midlife crisis to be helped by their findings, which they published in The Ambition Decisions: What Women Know About Work, Family and the Path to Building a Life. Here are three key facts about ambition that every woman should know: Read More

Posted in Career, Speaker Articles, Life on Your Terms, Career Choices, Goals & Priorities, Job Advancement Tagged , , |

How Two Working Parents Make It Work

Ryan and Heather Fischer & familySponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb

For Ryan and Heather Fischer, 2018 was an eventful year. Both employees at Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Fischers welcomed a second daughter, Colette, into their lives on January 24 – just three weeks after the company’s new and expanded paid family care leave policy went into effect.

“When the company announced the new program, I was ecstatic,” says Ryan, an IT business partner at the company.

Heather, a clinical trial forecasting analyst, had the same response. “It was just so nice to have all that time with our new daughter, to be 100 percent focused on her development and her needs,” she says. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Life Balance, Innovation Tagged |

5 Tips for Innovating from the Inside

Sally Susman, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Pfizer 

In the health care industry, innovation is critical—for our business as a biopharmaceutical company and for patients around the world who rely on therapies to improve their lives. At Pfizer, science and our 25,000+ clinical researchers are at our innovative core. But as head of corporate affairs at Pfizer, I understand that the power of innovation reaches beyond our laboratory walls. We’re constantly experimenting with how we can support marketing, communications and brand management in new and different ways within a 169-year-old company. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Innovation Tagged , |

Holiday Survival Tips from Simple Habit’s Founder

Yunha Kim meditating in a white roomA Stanford B school dropout, Yunha Kim is on her second startup—and like most things that meet a real need, it’s genius. Called Simple Habit, the app is a “Spotify” for meditation, meaning it’s a platform for different experts to share their bite-size meditations and audio therapy sessions.

Kim had her Eureka moment after turning to meditation apps to cope with the stress of running her first company. “I got pretty tired of hearing the same voice over and over again,” she recalls. “It occurred to me that to listen to a new singer, I don’t go to another app. I go to a platform like Spotify, where I can find new artists as well as my favorites.”

Flash forward less than three years, and Kim has a huge hit on her hands. “Simple Habit has helped more than 2.8 million people relieve stress and anxiety, with an average of 30,000 new users joining the platform every week,” she says. What’s more, she just closed $10 million in her series A, after raising $2.8 million from seed investors.

Her advice for newbie entrepreneurs? “Taking care of yourself is critical,” Kim says. “When you’re building a business from scratch, you are the number one resource you have. You will work long days, and stress is inevitable, so it’s important to take a little time each day to step away, breathe and reset.”

Here, Kim’s four tips—and her Simple Habit audio recommendations—for surviving the holidays: Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Life on Your Terms, Life Balance, Health & Wellness, Small Business, Innovation Tagged , |

Real Advice for Women Seeking Mentors and Allies

Portrait of David SmithIf your mentors all look like you, you have a mentor problem. Same goes if they all have similar backgrounds and work histories or if you have only one—or none.

“Your mentors should be a diverse network,” says David Smith, an expert on gender workplace issues and co-author of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women. “If they’re not, you’re missing out on key perspectives and information, and you’re probably not being challenged enough in your thinking.”

Of course, for women in male-dominated fields such as the military (Smith’s background), the problem isn’t having too many mentors who look like you (i.e., female). The problem is having a mentor, period. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Networking, Job Advancement Tagged , |