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MNPQC In the Know

July 2022

Perinatal Equity Committee Chair & Vice Chair Nomination Request!

The Minnesota Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MNPQC) is currently accepting nominations for the chair and vice chair positions for the MNPQC Perinatal Equity Committee.

The chair’s responsibilities will be to plan and lead equity meetings, represent the MNPQC steering committee, and support project initiatives. Please see the chair job description for further details.  

Visit the link below to learn more and submit nominations!

The New England Journal of Medicine

Treatment for Mild Chronic Hypertension during Pregnancy

May 12, 2022

Partner Spotlight

Open Cities Health Center – Nubian Moms Project
Open Cities is a grantee of the Integrated Care for High-Risk Pregnancies (ICHRP) Pilot. From 2015 to 2016, ICHRP was launched in response to reducing birth weights and in hopes of improving outcomes for pregnant people. Apparent low birth weights and birth outcomes were concentrated in Hennepin County and Ramsey County. Additionally, it was clear that African American and Native American women have greater birth disparities when compared to White women.

Their purpose is to improve birth outcomes for high-risk women, by addressing the two largest risks to healthy births—low birth weight and adverse psychosocial exposure.
Learn more about Open Cities Health Center & read our interview with
Ciana Cullens, Strategic Leadership, Nubian Moms Project Director at Open Cities!

Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis

On June 24th, the White House released the Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, a whole-of-government approach to combatting maternal mortality and morbidity. An important highlight within the Blueprint emphasizes the need to fund PQCs in every state to address maternal health. Along with the blueprint, this Factsheet was released.

Sleep-Related Infant Deaths

Updated 2022 Recommendations for Reducing Infant Deaths in the Sleep Environment
As a state agency, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) provides leadership around infant health and safety. MDH supports best practices from organizations such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for safety information, and the Athe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for expert opinion on infant health and safety, including how to keep infants safe while they sleep.

On June 21, the AAP published updated recommendations for reducing infant deaths by providing recommendations on how to keep babies under one year of age safe while they sleep or nap to prevent sleep-related tragedies such as accidental suffocation and strangulation. Recommendations include putting babies to sleep on a firm, flat, non-inclined, or leveled surface without soft bedding, room-sharing without bed-sharing, and how to prevent babies from overheating. These recommendations should be followed by anyone who takes care of babies, including parents, babysitters, childcare providers, health care providers, grandparents, and others. In addition to recommendations that focus on changing caregiver behaviors, there are also guidelines on changing institution and systems practices. For example, there is a specific recommendation for health care providers, physicians, hospital staff, and childcare providers to endorse and model infant safe sleep guidelines from the beginning of pregnancy, and another that advises media and manufacturers to promote safe sleep practices as a social norm in their messaging and advertising by following the AAP guidelines.

To view the full list of recommendations and how they apply to families visit
AAP Safe Sleep Guidelines. To find out if an infant product has been recalled by the CPSC visit Recalls |

MNPQC’s Community Organization Resources

Visit the Resources Page on our new website to access the numerous Community Organizations and online resources. These resources aid birthing people and their babies, as well as healthcare professionals interested in improving perinatal health across Minnesota. If you don’t see your organization listed, or know of an organization or helpful resource that is missing, please contact us at to the community resource section.

To continue providing access to information, engagement, and collaboration among Minnesota Perinatal & Infant Providers – please send your resources, events, and information to to display on our website.

DHS Extends the MA and CHIP-funded MA Postpartum Period for Pregnant Women to 12 months

Check out ACOG’s new podcast

Labor of Love: Stories of Vaccines, Variants, and Parenting during COVID

This season of Labor of Love is a five-part series where each week, Veronica Pimentel, MD, MS, FACOG, speaks with women dealing with everything that accompanies motherhood and pregnancy in the time of COVID-19. Dr. Pimentel also speaks with medical experts in the fields of maternal health, fertility, and mental well-being who provide evidence-based information and recommendations on how best to navigate pregnancy and motherhood during COVID-19.

We hope that you not only listen but also use this podcast as a resource. Check out the trailer for Labor of Love. All episodes are now available on your favorite podcast streaming outlet!
Listen and subscribe today!


These free 90-minute webinars were presented on May 18 and May 24, hosted by Postpartum Support International and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). They present an overview of perinatal mental health screening, assessment, treatment, and referral pathways through the lens of culturally-informed care & best practices in the treatment of perinatal mood & anxiety disorders.

Formula Shortage/Recall

Hospitals and clinics can also connect with their local WIC agencies as another resource to support families in navigating both breastfeeding and formula shortages!

Hennepin Health Perinatal ECHO series started in April 2022!

This series will focus on the intersection of perinatal opioid and polysubstance use and perinatal mental health. Dr. Cresta Jones will be co-directing this series along with Dr. Katie Thorsness, the perinatal psychiatrist at the Hennepin Health Redleaf Center.

Sessions will be held from 12:15 to 1:15 on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The format will remain the same – a short didactic session followed by a case review – we encourage you all to consider cases you have been involved with for discussion of best practices in general or for specific individual guidance issues.

This program is geared towards any stakeholders who influence, provide, or support care for pregnant people experiencing mental health or substance use disorders – this includes students, residents, and fellows as well.
We hope this series will help expand trauma-informed and stigma-free care for our patients and their families.

Stay up to date – Bookmark our COVID-19 Updates page today!

MNPQC is dedicated to sharing the latest information, resources, and education with healthcare providers, parents and caregivers, and our communities. Our COVID-19 Updates page includes webinars, articles, and guidelines on the care of pregnant women and newborns, resources for breastfeeding mothers and obtaining formula, health equity, as well as general information, including other languages (as available). Sources include the CDC, MDH, SMFM, and partner PQCs, as well as other reliable sources.  

If you have additional resources or educational opportunities for us to share, please send them to

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