The government is dedicating new resources to improving maternal health outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native women.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH)— in partnership with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention— announced a new campaign: “Hear Her.”

The ongoing campaign aims to prevent pregnancy-related deaths among Native Americans and Alaska Natives—who are twice as likely to die of pregnancy-related complications— by sharing potentially life-saving messages about urgent warning signs. 

The new “Hear Her” campaign segment builds on the work the CDC and OMH have been doing to reach tribal communities and provide healthcare providers and Native people with critical health resources.

“Due to ongoing and historical trauma, American Indian and Alaska Native people are more likely to have underlying chronic health conditions and experience sexual or interpersonal violence,” the campaign website reads. “American Indian and Alaska Native people often experience discrimination or racism and face systemic barriers to care including higher rates of poverty and long distance to quality health care services.”

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“Through the CDC and OMH partnership, we have expanded the existing Hear Her campaign to create culturally appropriate resources that amplify the experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native women while giving them tools to advocate for their health and well-being during and after pregnancy,” said Felicia Collins, M.D., HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and OMH Director, in a statement. “The campaign also emphasizes the importance and role of health care providers in providing respectful care.”

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The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from RxDestroyer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Dental Association. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online. 
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