SARAH VERBIEST

Looking Forward , Sarah Verbiest, founder of Every Woman Southeast, reflects on the new year and what it holds.

As we look back over 2010, South Carolina can be proud to have taken great strides in advancing preconception health. Consortia across the state have met to identify stakeholders, classify relevant data and brainstorm plans that will be promoted in each of its perinatal regions in 2011. Stakeholders in each region included professionals from all areas of MCH. Policy makers, nurses, social workers, OB/GYNS and health educators have rallied around the promotion of preconception health and the core ideas of Every Woman Southeast.

Using birth certificate and PRAMS data, MPH graduate student Stewart Davis uncovered interesting information about the four different perinatal regions. For example, the Pee Dee and Low Country regions have significant numbers of women of childbearing age who are overweight and obese. They also have challenges with gestational diabetes. The Piedmont region has the highest prevanlence of women who smoke during pregnancy as well as slightly higher rates of women who have chronic hypertension.

To learn more about South Carolina’s consortia meetings and outcomes, go to the South Carolina webpage on the EveryWomanSoutheast.com website. Special thanks to Stewart Davis for serving as a guest blogger! Stewart’s career goal is to create policies that will develop and fund programs to reduce the non-white infant mortality rate in South Carolina.

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