Future Houston


Health and Health Equity

The Center is committed to research and collaborations to improve health and health equity in our communities. 

REPORT: Social Determinants of Health Impacting Maternal Health

Business-based community engagement can improve maternal health, report finds.

Explore crucial insights in the report, “Social Determinants of Health Impacting Maternal Health and the Opportunities to Improve Outcomes,” presented by the Center for Houston’s Future. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, this report brings to light the state of maternal health in our region and proposes innovative recommendations for enhancement. Particularly concerning is the disproportionately poor maternal health outcomes among black women in Houston. Despite a significant healthcare expenditure, the United States grapples with alarmingly high maternal mortality rates, indicating a pressing need for improvement. Maternal health is intrinsically linked to community well-being and workforce productivity, making it a pivotal indicator for overall societal and economic health. The report advocates for three strategies: internal policy implementation promoting family-friendly workplaces, employee education on available health services, and cooperative community investment to enhance health outcomes. Extensive collaboration with subject-matter experts underscores the collective effort required to drive positive change in maternal health.

Key Points

  • The medical and social factors affecting maternal health also drive COVID-19 and overall health outcomes. Community health and resilience are rooted in our ability to address these social risk factors.
  • Pre-term birth rates across Houston MSA are more than twice as high in under resourced zip codes.
  • Black mothers are three times as likely to die in childbirth and 50% more likely to have a pre-term birth than white mothers regardless of age, income, or education.