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Maternal and Child Health Program Partnering with State’s COVID-19 Maternity Task Force

The Maternal and Child Health program at the School of Public Health is partnering with the state's COVID-19 Maternity Task Force.

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 11, 2020) – The School of Public Health’s Maternal and Child Health program (MCH) has been tapped to support the state’s COVID-19 Maternity Task Force by helping to review the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy.

The task force was established in April by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and the New York State Council on Women and Girls, and was convened to address challenges related to COVID-19 for pregnant women and mothers. Part of the task force’s charge includes conducting a comprehensive literature review.

Clinical Associate Professor Rachel de Long, co-director of the MCH program with Associate Professor Christine Bozlak, is working with a small team of staff at the New York State Department of Health’s Division of Family Health on the literature review that will assist the state in making recommendations and assessing the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy. The Division of Family Health is a longstanding partner of the MCH program.

SPH graduate students Rachel Craig, Amanda Kocienski and Brunella Maravi-Calenzani have also been engaged in the review.

“The Maternal and Child Health Program is pleased to support this important work and to have the opportunity for our students to be involved,” said de Long. “This unprecedented public health challenge is impacting all facets of life, and we are looking forward to engaging further with the task force and our colleagues at the Division of Family Health to examine its impacts on pregnancy.”

"As a Master of Public Health student at the University at Albany, I was honored to be able to collaborate on this review with the School of Public Health and Department of Health,” said Kocienski. “It was a fulfilling experience to be a part of an emerging public health issue."

At the conclusion of the review, the MCH program will deliver a summary of its findings to the task force as well as regional perinatal centers.

De Long and Bozlak, who are faculty in the Health Policy, Management, and Behavior department, say the MCH program will continue to partner with NYSDOH on a variety of maternal and child health initiatives.

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