Through the Safe Birthing Initiative, Safety Net clinics like Axis Community Health will have the ability to extend quality maternity and neonatal care in their communities and take a step closer to birth equity
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced that it has donated state-of-the-art Philips ultrasound imaging solutions to MedShare, an Atlanta-based humanitarian aid organization dedicated to global health, which will distribute the solutions to safety net clinics like Axis Community Health in Northern California. Through MedShare’s Safe Birthing Initiative (SBI), which looks to strengthen the capacity of maternity and neonatal units in communities using global best practices, Philips ultrasounds will help to address birth equity challenges for underserved communities in the U.S. As MedShare engages with local clinics and helps expand their OBGYN services, it also aims to demonstrate that the addition of diagnostic ultrasound equipment in community-based health practices can help patients receive better and more efficient care, which can lead to better health outcomes for mothers and newborn children.
Despite being a region known for wealth and technological advancement, the Bay Area is not immune to the impact of social determinants of health. There are stark racial disparities for pregnant women in the Bay Area who receive early prenatal care, including those in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties.1 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infant mortality in the Bay Area is four times higher for African American women than white women, and African American women are three to four times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth.2, 3 Most deaths are preventable, and the CDC is calling for systematic, policy-driven, and community-based changes to the current system of maternal care.
“By adding Philips ultrasound capabilities, we can not only give these moms their first look at their baby and make prenatal care more convenient, we can detect issues with the pregnancy faster, providing that woman with the support she needs for a healthy pregnancy and baby,” said Dr. Dawnell Moody, chief medical officer of Axis Community Health. “Our community deserves the same kind of health technologies found in private hospitals and working with MedShare, we have been able to expand our ability to provide quality prenatal care. To receive this donation on Mother’s Day makes it even more meaningful.”
The U.S. health care ‘safety-net’ is a fragmented network of public hospitals, free or charitable clinics, federally qualified community health centers (CHCs) and other healthcare organizations united only by their shared mission–to provide care to individuals regardless of ability to pay. According to the California Association of Free and Public Clinics, there are nearly 7.5 million uninsured Californians, while at the same time, free clinics are facing an overall decrease in their funding of 20 percent.4 To help fill this gap, organizations like MedShare, whose mission of repurposing and donating clinically viable medical equipment in underserved communities, are helping to bring healthcare to those who need it most.
“MedShare has worked with over 64 safety net clinics in the Bay Area to donate supplies and equipment, and we understand that while these organizations are serving those with the greatest need, they are in need themselves,” said Charles Redding, chief executive officer and president of MedShare. “Working together with partners like Philips and Axis Community Health, we can provide clinicians with the tools they need to strengthen care in their communities and give every baby the chance of a great start in life.”
If you want to understand how to support birth equity, or Axis Community Health please visit here. For more information about Philips Healthcare Disparities and Corporate Social Responsibility programs or MedShare, please visit here.
Axis Community Health, located in eastern Alameda County, provides medical, dental and behavioral health services for low-income and uninsured patients and serves 14,000 people with 100,000 visits across all services annually. 72% of Axis’s patients have incomes less than the federal poverty rate (up to $25,250 for a family of 4); 22% have incomes between 101 and 200% of poverty (up to $48,500 for a family of 4). Axis staff include physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, mental health professionals and support personnel. Staff are multi-lingual and provide services in a culturally-sensitive manner. Axis is a designated Federally Qualified Health Center, and nationally recognized as a quality leader among all clinics in the country. Axis is committed to its mission of providing quality, affordable, accessible and compassionate health care services that promote the well-being of all members of the community. For more information, visit www.axishealth.org.
MedShare is a 501c(3) humanitarian aid organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people, communities, and our planet by sourcing and directly delivering surplus medical supplies and equipment to communities in need around the world. MedShare’s programmatic approach addresses specific health challenges through its Primary Care Program, Maternal & Child Health Program, Disaster Relief Program, Infectious Disease Control & Prevention Program, and Biomedical Equipment Training & Repair Service. For more than 20 years MedShare has strengthened global healthcare and supported sustainable development in low-resource communities. For more information, please visit the organization’s website at www.medshare.org.
About Royal Philips:
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2020 sales of EUR 17.3 billion and employs approximately 77,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.
1 Data provided by Kids Count (https://datacenter.kidscount.org/), 2021
2“Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: August 2018. www.cdc.gov
3 “Infant Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: August 2018. www.cdc.gov