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Maternal Health & Perinatal Inequity

A MEDS Ed seminar

Download the slide deck here to follow along.

This session of CareOregon Pharmacy’s MEDS Ed program explores how issues of racial and social disparities and environmental stress impact maternal health and conception; mental health/SUD-related concerns during pregnancy; how maternal health is affected by pre-conception care; potentially harmful medications; social/emotional health for newborns and new mothers.


Key session takeaways

(click the link to view a clip):

  • Virginia Garcia clinics serve 1 in every 13 residents of Washington and Yamhill counties – more than 50,000 patients. Part 1 – 7:50
  • Virginia Garcia has prioritized hiring bilingual & bicultural staff, using data analysis, and integrating behavioral health into primary care. Part 1 – 14:15 
  • Implementing the CenteringPregnancy® program has resulted in outstanding obstetrics outcomes. Part 1 – 24:53
  • Dental care for the pregnant patient, and family members, is an upstream approach to address the transmissible and preventable chronic disease of early childhood caries. Part 2 – 17:31
  • Important oral health recommendations during pregnancy for patients: Part 2 – 31:44
    • Pregnant patients to complete a dental visit if
      • they have not seen a dentist during their pregnancy  
      • oral health problems were identified during the assessment
    • Encourage good oral hygiene and associate oral health with other healthy habits
      • nutrition
      • tobacco cessation
    • Inform patients that dentistry is safe during pregnancy and recommended for the health of both the patient and developing baby – that dentistry is safe during all three trimesters.
  • Dental care request tool for any Health Share of Oregon, Jackson Care Connect or Columbia Pacific CCO patient. All OHP/Medicaid patients have comprehensive dental benefits. This tool helps connect your patient to their OHP dental plan for care coordination, simplifying the process for both you and your patient. Tool is accessible through the CareOregon Connect provider portal or OneHealthPort. Part 2 – 35:16
  • The U.S. has the worst overall maternal and infant mortality rate and outcomes of the developed nations Part 3 – 21:13
    • Black maternal mortality three times higher than white
    • Native/Indigenous maternal mortality is more than twice as high as white
  • There is a need for more skilled birth advocates for underserved and marginalized communities. Part 3 – 30:48
  • The Community Doula Alliance was created to promote sustainable utilization and share resources. Part 3 – 53:12

Featured speakers

  • Monica M. Arce CNM IBCLC – Site Medical Director, Virginia Garcia Women’s Clinic
  • Alexa Jett, BSDH, EPDH – Oral Health Integration Manager, CareOregon
  • Kimberly Porter, Raeben Nolan – co-founders, The Community Doula Alliance

Featured content


Maternal Health & Perinatal Inequity (Parts 1-4) - A MEDS Ed Seminar:

Individual presentations:

Virginia Garcia Obstetrical Service - Achieving Quality Care Before and After Covid-19 (1/4):

Two Bright Smiles - Maternity Oral Health (2/4):

Maternal Health & Perinatal Inequity: The Doula Solution (3/4):

Panel Q&A:     

Maternal Health & Perinatal Inequity (4/4): 

Program Description

MEDS Ed is an ongoing education series by CareOregon’s Pharmacy team. It’s geared to clinicians and health care professionals involved in direct patient care at community clinics. Attendees leave with valuable tools and insights that improve how they can contribute to multi-disciplinary teams.

Each three-to-four-hour MEDS Ed session examines a disease state that highly impacts patient quality of life, requires complex management, and may lead to increased emergency department visits and inpatient stays. Speakers include pharmacists and clinicians from the community and from CareOregon staff.