We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Cookie Policy 
Dr. David Webster, M.D., MBA, Chief Clinical and Provider Strategy Officer

Making Maternal Health A Priority


Caring for babies and moms throughout the birth journey is dear to me as a husband and father. As a physician, I understand the importance of maternal health equity and am proud of Medica’s focused efforts.


Why it Matters: The U.S. remains among the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth, especially for women and babies of color.


Personal Experience: I was at my wife’s side as she experienced complications following the birth of our twin boys. It emphasized how critical access to care for mom and baby is in the early stages of life. As an African American physician, my wife needed to advocate assertively for our family when she knew things were not going well.


By the Numbers: When compared to the World Health Organization's maternal mortality rate, the U.S. ranks 55th. Maternal deaths across the U.S. more than doubled over the course of two decades, and the tragedy unfolded unequally, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Black mothers died at the nation’s highest rates, while the largest increases in deaths were found in American Indian and Native Alaskan mothers.

The Details
: Medica’s focused efforts on maternal health include:

  • We offer our Medicaid members the added support of doulas, through referrals to Harambee Village Doulas and Roots4Change in Madison.
  • We partner with March of Dimes and will field Walk Teams in Minneapolis and Madison as part of our Acts of Impact employee engagement program.
  • Our programs are featured on Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid, an educational program airing on public TV stations across the U.S. Watch it here.
  • Medica provides grants to organizations that address maternal health. During the past 20 years, we have contributed more than $1.3 million to organizations dedicated to improving health outcomes for mothers and babies.
    • Recently, we granted $150,000 to four programs in Minnesota: Division of Indian Work – doulas helping Indigenous women maintain their health while pregnant so they give birth to healthy babies; Everyday Miracles – mentorship to improve retention, participation, and skills of newly trained doulas; Mewinzha Ondaadiziike Wiigaming – providing American Indian-led maternal child health and family wellness services to community members in northwest Minnesota; and Wayside Recovery Center – services for the entire family addressing social determinants of health for children impacted by parental substance abuse.
    • In Wisconsin, grant dollars are supporting Harambee Village Doulas work to improve maternal and infant mortality statistics for Black and Brown births in Dane County.
  • We offer our health plan members programs like Ovia, a digital end-to-end women’s health, pregnancy, and family care. This includes nurse coaching for expectant mothers, many of whom experience more than one pregnancy risk factor.


Bottom Line: Together, we can close the health equity gap and end preventable maternal and infant health risks and death. We’re doing so through funding, volunteerism, and member benefits.