Community-Academic Partnership to Investigate Low Birth Weight Deliveries and Improve Maternal and Infant Outcomes at a Baltimore City Hospital

Elizabeth M. Harvey, Donna Strobino, Leslie Sherrod, Mary Catherine Webb, Caroline Anderson, Jennifer Arice White, Robert Atlas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose Mercy Medical Center (MMC), a community hospital in Baltimore Maryland, has undertaken a community initiative to reduce low birth weight (LBW) deliveries by 10 % in 3 years. MMC partnered with a School of Public Health to evaluate characteristics associated with LBW deliveries and formulate collaborations with obstetricians and community services to improve birth outcomes. Description As part of the initiative, a case control study of LBW was undertaken of all newborns weighing <2500 grams during June 2010-June 2011 matched 2:1 with newborns ≥2500 grams (n = 862). Assessment Logistic regression models including maternal characteristics prior to and during pregnancy showed an increased odds of LBW among women with a previous preterm birth (aOR 2.48; 95 % CI: 1.49–4.13), chronic hypertension (aOR: 2.53; 95 % CI: 1.25–5.10), hospitalization during pregnancy (aOR: 2.27; 95 % CI:1.52–3.40), multiple gestation (aOR:12.33; 95 % CI:5.49–27.73) and gestational hypertension (aOR: 2.81; 95 % CI: 1.79–4.41). Given that both maternal pre-existing conditions and those occurring during pregnancy were found to be associated with LBW, one strategy to address pregnant women at risk of LBW infants is to improve the intake and referral system to better triage women to appropriate services in the community. Meetings were held with community organizations and feedback was operationalized into collaboration strategies which can be jointly implemented. Conclusion Education sessions with providers about the referral system are one ongoing strategy to improve birth outcomes in Baltimore City, as well as provision of timely home visits by nurses to high-risk women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Birth outcomes
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Community health planning
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Low birth weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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