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ERASE Maternal Mortality Evaluation Plan Development

Toddler-Aged Girl Touching Pregnant Belly of Her Mother
Planning for the evaluation of the US’s primary source for review of pregnancy-associated deaths
  • Client
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dates
    September 2022 - Ongoing


Systematic reviews of maternal deaths need continuous improvement to facilitate the prevention of underlying causes.

Maternal deaths remain at an unacceptable level in the United States, with about 700 deaths occurring per year as a result of pregnancy or its complications.1 Many of these deaths are preventable. Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) systematically and comprehensively review deaths to develop strategies for preventing future deaths. Since 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Reproductive Health (DRH), has provided support and funding to US jurisdictional MMRCs under the Enhancing Reviews and Surveillance to Elimination Maternal Mortality (ERASE MM) Initiative. This funding directly supports agencies and organizations that coordinate and manage MMRCs to identify, review, and characterize pregnancy-related deaths and identify prevention opportunities.


NORC is helping CDC develop a plan to determine the impact of MMRCs.

As MMRCs in the US emerge as one “gold standard” for identifying pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths, it is critical to examine the ERASE MM Initiative’s holistic impact. NORC is conducting a preliminary literature review and formative environmental scan, including a data source review, a review of health equity opportunities for evaluation, and a stakeholder assessment, to determine the opportunities and best methodology for an outcome evaluation of the ERASE MM Initiative. NORC will develop a final evaluation methodology in the form of an evaluation plan along with data collection tools to support the eventual ERASE MM evaluation. 


Our evaluation plan will guide efforts to determine how MMRCs have affected outcomes and how they can be improved.

NORC’s final evaluation plan for the ERASE MM Initiative will have a specific focus on understanding how increased support for a national approach to the review of pregnancy-associated deaths by MMRCs across the United States has contributed to changes in public health capacity, public awareness of MMRCs, and changes in policies, programs, and services with the potential for improvement in maternal health outcomes.

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