June 5, 2019 – On May 23rd, the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade partnered with Holtz Children’s Hospital and The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital to organize the Florida Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Centers (RPICC) Educational Sessions.  This year’s focus was Illuminating the Causes of Maternal Morbidity and Mortality.  Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade County frequently hosts professional development events to provide medical professionals, social workers, mental health clinicians, case workers, and community partners research updates and best practices relevant to maternal, infant and child health.  The RPICC Sessions focused on improving maternal outcomes for at-risk mothers and identifying ways the medical community can reverse the alarming increases in the U.S. maternal mortality and morbidity rates over the past two decades.
Along with the partnering organizations, Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade provided a full day of healthcare speakers to bring local, medical professionals the latest statistics, techniques and interventions to address both social and medical barriers in healthcare delivery to improve health outcomes. Included in the recommendations were developing improvements in communication with clients and rapidly identifying and prioritizing their needs. This has proved to make a difference in health outcomes for both the mother and newborn. 
“These informational sessions allow us to pass on the latest practices to improve the dynamic between the medical community, at-risk clients and their newborns,” said Manuel E. Fermin, CEO of Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade County.
Over 113 participants representing 30 organizations were in attendance and discussed the importance of improved maternal prenatal care to positively affect birth outcomes and maternal health; establishing a health partnership with clients to improve trust between medical staff and new mothers to be; and, a renewed focus on the prenatal markers that may alert healthcare providers of complications to come.
Speakers and topics for the event included: 
Michael J. Paidas, M.D. – Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UM/Miller School of Medicine, Chief of Service. Topic: Maternal Mortality.
Suzanne Gallagher, Ed. D., Chief Innovation Officer – Children’s Services Council of Broward County. Topic: Understanding Racism and Implicit Bias to Improve Maternal Outcomes. 
Salih Y. Yasin, M.D. – Professor and Division Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine UM/Miller School of Medicine, Director of Obstetrics and Patient Safety, The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial. Two topics: Poor Maternal Health and Chronic Health Conditions Leading to Poor Birth Outcomes and Maternal Hemorrhage Care and Management.
Guoyan Zhang, M.D., M.P.H. – Senior Epidemiologist and Deputy Director of the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County. Topic: Perinatal Periods of Risk.
Vanessa Villamil , M.P.H., Epidemiologist with  Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County. Topic: Perinatal Periods of Risk.
Chris Arestides, R.N., B.S.N., M.P.H. – Manager, Healthcare Integration at the Nurse Family Partnership National Service Office. Topic: Social Determinants of Health, Nurse Family Partnership.
Latisha Barfield, D.N.P., C.N.M., A.R.N.P. – Clinical Assistant Professor at Florida International University. Topic: Condom Use in Pregnancy: A Pilot Study.
About the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade
The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade (HSCMD) is a community-based non-profit organization designated and funded by the State of Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to serve as Miami-Dade County’s prenatal and infant care coalition. HSCMD partners with local community-based organizations and healthcare professionals to plan, coordinate and provide high quality health and education services to women of childbearing age, children to age three and their families. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates.