In the United States, the maternal mortality rate is twice as high as in other developed countries and the rate of maternal morbidity, or complications due to pregnancy and birth, has nearly doubled over the past two decades. In Colorado, maternal mortality rates have risen by nearly five times since data collection first began in 1986. Maternal mortality and morbidity rates are even higher among communities of color.
In addition, pregnant and postpartum individuals with lower education levels and who are publicly insured are also more likely to die in the perinatal period. According to the Colorado Hospital Association, Native American mothers are twice as likely (98%) to experience severe maternal morbidity (SMM) than their white counterparts, followed by Black mothers at 53%, Hispanic moms at 28%, and Asian mothers at 20%.
What We Do
We work with labor and delivery units across the state to improve perinatal patient safety, teamwork and communication, and equitable quality care for moms and their babies. We partner with the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) to implement patient safety bundles—including Safe Reduction of Primary Cesarean Birth and Care for Pregnant and Postpartum People with Substance Use Disorder—in an effort to reduce maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity.
SOAR aims to reduce unnecessary first-time cesarean sections through clinical education and data-driven changes.
CO AIM: SUD supports labor and delivery units to create a structure for universal screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for patients with substance use and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
As a co-convener with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, CPCQC coordinates a statewide Maternal Health Task Force, made up of diverse professional and lived-experience experts, tasked with guiding the state’s maternal health improvement strategies. In addition to other topics, the Task Force has subcommittees which focus specifically on topics related to Clinical Quality Improvement, Maternal Health Data, and Social Determinants of Health.
CPCQC is the quality improvement implementation arm of the perinatal quality improvement recommendations of Colorado’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC), which includes implementation of AIM perinatal patient safety bundles.
Perinatal Patient Safety Resources
In 2024, the Colorado Perinatal Care Quality Collaborative (CPCQC) innovatively revamped its SOAR Primary Cesarean Reduction program into a one-year, intensive learning collaborative.
We are at an inflection point both as an organization and as a perinatal health community. The status quo is not okay. We must start to shift the curve. See what we are doing to support that shift.
This resource provides guidelines to reduce opioid prescriptions for postpartum pain management, emphasizing non-opioid options and multimodal approaches while guiding healthcare providers in discussing alternatives with patients.
Help us improve maternal and infant health outcomes for all Colorado families. There are multiple ways to get involved: participate in a program, become a community advocate, attend an event, or share your story. Whether you are an individual, healthcare facility, community-based organization, or industry leader, there’s space for you in our work.