Hack4Equity: Health Equity for Georgia’s Black Mothers

Sep 24, 2021—Sep 26, 2021

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There is a maternal health crisis in the U.S. Maternal mortality rates in the U.S. have significantly increased over the last 25 years, jumping 50% between 1987 and 2013.1 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 700 women die in the United States every year as a result of complications due to pregnancy or birth, and about 60% could be prevented.2

Today, the United States is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth,3 and the crisis is even more dire for Black women. Black women are the most impacted by the increase in pregnancy-related deaths. Black women are 3-4x more likely than white women to die from a pregnancy or childbirth-related issue.4

Many factors contribute to this inequity, including:

  • Historically, systemic racism has been embedded in medical practice, leading to mistrust between Black women, their doctors and the healthcare system as a whole.
  • Even when controlling for education, college-educated Black women are still at a 60% higher risk of dying from pregnancy-related complications than a white woman with less than a high school education.5

Home to the third-largest Black population in the United States, the state of Georgia has the second-highest maternal mortality rate in the country.6 Women in the state are more than 50% more likely to die in the first year after giving birth than women nationally.7 Since 1994, more than 30 labor & delivery units have closed in the state, and more than half of Georgia’s counties have no OB-GYN care or services. As a result, the women of Georgia live in maternal healthcare deserts, isolated from the care they need.8

How to Participate:

We welcome innovators from all walks of life and locations to participate and form teams of three to five persons. While the solution should be local, a great idea can come from anyone anywhere. Innovators can include, but are not limited to:

  1. Creative problem solvers
  2. Designers and engineers
  3. Technology developers and programmers
  4. Clinicians and public health experts
  5. Advocates
  6. Students

Bring your own team or find one through the pre-events! You must register as an individual to participate and gain key event information.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/pregnancy-mortality-surveillance-system.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/maternal-deaths/index.html
  3. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-brief-report/2020/dec/maternal-mortality-united-states-primer#:~:text=Highlights,last%20overall%20among%20industrialized%20countries
  4. Ibid.
  5. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-brief-report/2020/dec/maternal-mortality-united-states-primer
  6. https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/maternal-mortality-rate-by-state
  7. https://gradynewsource.uga.edu/in-georgia-the-most-dangerous-state-for-pregnant-women-policy-change-could-save-lives/#:~:text=The%20Maternal%20Mortality%20Rate%20in,up%20to%20one%20year%20postpartum
  8. https://www.house.ga.gov/Documents/CommitteeDocuments/2013/MedicaidReform/GMIHRG_ObGyn_Shortage_MedicaidReform_Nov18_2013_Final.pdf