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Youngkin issues executive order to improve maternal health

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(The Center Square) – An executive order reestablishing a maternal health data task force has been issued by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

Executive Order 32, announced Wednesday afternoon, aims to improve prenatal care and is “centered around enhancing the quality of care mothers and infants receive” in the commonwealth.

The order reestablishes the Task Force on Maternal Health Data and Quality Measures, which collects and evaluates maternal health data in an effort to drive policies in Virginia. The measure enables the task force to analyze data to “determine the need for additional benefits to protect women’s health.”

In addition, the order allows the task force to “examine quality of care and the barriers that prevent the collection and reporting of timely maternal health data,” specifically “underserved communities.”

The governor’s office says the order will lead to “interagency collaboration,” leading the group to “develop recommendations for standard quality metrics on maternal care” with the intent to report their findings to the governor and general assembly.

Youngkin touted the order, saying it would improve “health outcomes” for mothers and babies.

“Improving health outcomes for mothers and infants is foundational to making Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Youngkin.

The governor underscored the need for mothers to receive quality care while highlighting the need to uncover areas for improvement in care, driving better policy.

“Mothers play an incomparable role in the lives of their children and families, and it is imperative that we do the necessary, collective work to ensure they are receiving the care they deserve,” he said. “This begins with knowing where we need to improve, so that we can better maternal health policies throughout the Commonwealth and promote the well-being of women, children and families.”

The order requires the task force to report its findings and recommendations to the governor and General Assembly by Dec. 1 each year and conclude its work by Dec. 1, 2025.

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