Efforts to improve birth outcomes

According to the 2016 County Health Rankings, Hampton Roads’ birth outcomes are generally poor.

EVMS has identified this as a priority in its Strategic plan and has developed several initiatives sponsored by the Virginia Department of Health and the March of Dimes.

EVMS Family and Community Medicine implemented a group medical-visit model of prenatal care and EVMS Pediatrics has supported local Resource Mothers and Stork’s Nest initiatives aimed at teen mothers.

Associate Professor Kate Ferguson, EdD, MS, joined EVMS in 2009 as EVMS Pediatrics’ Community Health and Research Division Director. Since 2002 she has been the sole or major contributing author for successful grants totaling over $18 million from NIH, CDC, Bureau of Health Professions - HRSA, NSF, HUD, and the March of Dimes (MOD). She is past chair of the Virginia MOD State Program Services Committee which develops and oversees statewide initiatives and provides grant support to reduce prematurity and improve birth outcomes, and in 2013 was named to the MOD Hall of Fame for her efforts on behalf of mothers and babies. 

Assistant Professor Hongyum (Tracy) Fu, PhD, MA focuses on research and programs promoting family and community based interventions to improve maternal and child health outcomes in Hampton Roads in collaboration with the March of Dimes, Norfolk Action Network and other partners.  

In 2005, EVMS Obstetrics and Gynecology partnered with Sentara hospitals to implement Ob Right, and evidence-based program promoting clinical standards and guidelines for safe pregnancies and deliveries. In 2010, the rate of elective deliveries was reduced to less than 1 percent at 5 of the 6 participating hospitals compared to the Virginia rate of 19 percent.