Future of Maternal Care Summit Agenda

2024 Future of Maternal Care Summit agenda

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Conference Day 1

  • Tuesday, January 30th 2024
Tuesday, January 30th 2024
8:00am PT

Registration, Breakfast and Networking

9:00am PT

Chairs Opening Remarks and Setting the Scene

Kimberly Seals Allers, Founder, Irth App

9:10am PT

Keynote Presentation: Setting the Stage: Maternal Care in the US – Where are We Now?

Inaugurating the Future of Maternal Care Summit, this opening keynote presentation will delve straight into maternal care in the US and the current state of maternal health outcomes. Reflecting on the year following our previous gathering, where are we now? What strides have been taken? How have maternal care outcomes changed? And how far are we from achieving birth equity?

Amanda Williams, Medical Director, Mahmee

9:35am PT

Keynote Panel Discussion hosted by Heluna Health: The Answer is in the Community

As Kimberly Seals Allers reminded us at the last summit, for maternal care, ‘the answer is always in the community’. This panel conversation about centering community in public and population health will focus on how we can harness the power of community to enhance maternal care outcomes, how we can recognize and leverage community-based approaches, and how prioritizing community can help close empathy gaps.

  • How can we harness the power of community to enhance maternal care outcomes?
  • What strategies or community approaches have demonstrated success in improving maternal health outcomes?
  • What are the most effective ways to engage the patient’s family and closer community in their care and what is the value in this?
  • How has the community, and can the community continue to close gaps in patient care? For example access to care gaps and equity gaps? How can other stakeholders work in tandem with communities to close gaps such as these?

Moderator: Sherenne Simon, Principal, Global Simon Group & Former Senior Director of Health Equity,  March of Dimes 

Renaisa Anthony, Founder, MOMentum Park
Celeste Beck, Associate Research Scientist, Heluna Health
Wen Ting ‘Wendy’ Fung
, Breastfeeding Services Manager, PHFE WIC, a program of Breastfeeding and Nutrition Services, Heluna Health


Donate to Heluna Health Community Fund

10:10am PT

Morning Refreshments & Facilitated Networking 

During this extended morning refreshments break, there will be a series of round tables each centred around specific topic in maternal care to allow for effective networking. Use this time to network with individuals at the summit, enjoy refreshments and share thoughts on some central topics. More information to be announced on this soon…


Presentation: The Rise of Doulas: Exploring Their Growing Popularity with Millennial Moms and Impact on Positive Maternal Health Outcomes

In this presentation, Alisa Marie Beyer, a seasoned business strategist in women’s reproductive health and a professional doula for U.S. Military families in San Diego, delves into two fundamental truths about the growing popularity of doulas among millennial moms and their impact on positive maternal health outcomes. She will explore these truths in detail, highlighting their significance for companies marketing to expectant and new mothers, as well as for organizations focused on improving maternal outcomes, ranging from hospital systems to clinical care supporters. Beyer will discuss the vital role of doulas, present supporting data and trends in the birthing industry, and underscore the increasing relevance of doulas in modern maternity care.

Alisa Marie Beyer, Founder & Managing Partner, Anchor Strategy Group  and Chief Strategist, Pumpspotting 

11:10am PT

 Shark Tank Pitches

Calling all Maternal Care Innovators!

Get ready for an exhilarating session as we bring back the much-anticipated Future of Maternal Care Shark Tank! This is an opportunity to witness ground-breaking revolutionizing the maternal care landscape.

Each innovative start-up will have a spotlight moment, with a dynamic 10-minute pitch that could change the game for maternal care. Picture this: a whirlwind of ideas, passion, and vision to transform the maternal care space! After each pitch, hear from the panel of leading investors providing invaluable feedback in a lightning-fast 5-minute exchange!

Moderator: Kimberly Seals Allers, Founder, Irth App

11:20am Start-up 1: Vu-An Foster, Founder & Executive Director, Life After 2 Losses

11:35am Start-up 2: Aqil Jaigirdar, Founder, Gravida 

11:50am Start-up 3: Elena Colon, Project Director & Community Health Coordinator, Luz de Atabey Midwifery Project

12:05 Investment Panel

Panel of Investors:
Linda Greub, Managing Partner, Avestria Ventures 
Anula Jayasuriya, Partner, DigitalDxVentures
Tracy Dooley, Partner, Avestria Ventures

12:35pm PT

Lunch & Networking

Maternal Health Equity & Access to Care

2:00pm PT

Panel Discussion: Improving Maternal Mortality in Rural Health Populations

This panel will hone in on the high rate of maternal mortality in rural health populations. Looking at the current systemic barriers in the US healthcare system, the latest technological and community-based innovations and how we can improve patient education, this panel will look at how we can bring our learnings together to overcome this pressing issue

  • How can we leverage communities and education programs to bridge the gap for rural populations and provide rural patients with adequate knowledge and resources to enable safe pregnancies?
  • What approaches have been used recently to try and improve maternal mortality in rural populations? Which have been successful and which haven’t?
  • What policy changes are needed to improve maternal mortality and maternal outcomes in rural populations? What is the policy energy at the moment in helping rural patients?
  • How are healthcare systems investing in improving maternal care for rural populations?

Moderator: Adrienne Griffen, Executive Director, Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance

Gary Pugh, Medical Officer, Alabama Department of Public Health
Emma Sugerman, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, Mavida Health
Fahimeh Sasan, Chief Innovation Officer & Founding Physician, KindBody

2:40pm PT

Panel Discussion with Lengthened Q&A: Building Equitable Maternal Care from the Ground Up

This panel discussion, involving speakers from a diversity of stakeholder groups – insurers, healthcare systems, community based organizations, maternal care providers and investors will focus on one the the largest issues in maternal care – the impact of systemic racism on maternal outcomes for Black and Brown Patients. This panel discussion will be extended to enable 15 minutes of questions at the end from the audience

  • How can we confront current inequitable systems and build systems that can help us achieve health equity? 
  • How can we gather and utilize feedback from patients experiencing or at risk of racism in maternal care to rebuild current healthcare processes?
  • How can we work with communities to achieve maternal health equity? 
  • How can we, as professionals, ensure we advocate for black and brown patients in the most impactful way?
  • What innovations have shown evidence in improving maternal care?
  • What two final things/ call to actions would each panelist say to the audience regarding maternal health equity?

Moderator: Crystal Tyler, Chief Health Officer, Rhia Ventures 

Melissa Layne, Director of Population Health, Clinical Operations for Maternal Child Health Programs, Centene 
Diana Derige, Vice President, Health Equity Strategy, American Medical Association
K’Lynn Mitchell, Registered Dietitian and the CinnaMoms Project Coordinator, PHFE WIC Program, Breastfeeding & Nutrition Services, Heluna Health
Dare Henry-Moss, Manager of Health Equity Program Strategy, Independence Blue Cross 

3:25pm PT

Afternoon Break and Refreshments

Patient- Centered, Holistic Maternal Care

4:05 pm PT

Panel Discussion: Empowering & Sustainable Birth Choices – Increasing Access to Midwives for All Birthing People

This panel will hone in on a crucial and often underfunded area of maternal care – midwives and will examine what steps need to be made to better integrate midwives into the maternal care pathway.

  • Firstly, what is the evidence showing the value of prioritizing midwifery led care in maternal care? What gaps can this approach help to bridge?
  • What are current strategies to better integrate midwives into the maternal care pathway, and what further steps must we make as an industry?
  • What are the best practices for contracting and reimbursement for advancing

Holly Smith, Midwifery Integration Project Lead, California Nurse Midwives Foundation 
Jyesha Wren, Co-Founder and the Director, Beloved Birth Black Centering
Madeleine Wisner,
Health Policy Chair, CALM
Kimberly Durdin,
 Executive Director, Birthing People Foundation

4:35pm PT

Lightning Talk Presentations

The Lightning Talk Sessions in our conference agenda are a series of three succinct and dynamic 15-minute presentations by leading companies and organisations in the maternal care industry. These sessions aim to provide a quick but informative glimpse into the disease areas, patient populations and health equity focused trends shaping the industry. Attendees will gain valuable insights and actionable knowledge to stay at the forefront of maternal healthcare innovations.


4:35pm PT  Diabetes in Maternal Health

Gary Pugh, Medical Officer, Alabama Department of Public Health 


4:50pm PT  The Impact of the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) on Maternal Care Outcomes

Whitney Perkins, Vice President, Social Determinants of Health, Highmark Health 


5:05pm PT  Mental Healthcare in Maternal Care

Andrea Niles, CEO & Founder, Prospera

5:20pm PT

Panel Discussion: Increasing the Value & Convenience of Postpartum Visits 

Attendance for postpartum visits is often low which may be attributed to the value and convenience of these visits for mothers. How can we improve these visits by understanding the difficulties the mother may have firstly in accessing this postpartum checkup, and secondly by ensuring these visits are valuable for the mother. 

  • Fundamentally, what support ideally would a mother need from their healthcare provider post-birth? What does this support look like at the moment?
  • Which populations show the lowest attendance for their postpartum visits? How can we understand and meet the mother where they’re at before strategizing to improve these visits for mothers?
  • What solutions are available to help mothers who have difficulties with their postpartum care? Have any of these solutions demonstrated value so far? 
  • Which aspects of the mothers postpartum care are most neglected at the moment? How can we advocate and strategize to improve these aspects? 

Moderator: Dawn Steiner, OBGYN Medical Director, Centene 

Leslie Saltzman, Chief Medical Officer, Ovia Health
Meghan Doyle
, CEO and Co-Founder, Partum Health
Linda Genen, Chief Medical Officer, Progeny Health
Talia Borgo, Co-founder and Clinical Director, Millie
Jin Lee, Investor, Oxford Angel Fund

5:55pm PT

Chair’s Closing Remarks

Kimberly Seals Allers, Founder, Irth App

6:00pm PT

Close of Day 1 of The Future of Maternal Care Summit

Conference Day 2

  • Wednesday January 31st 2024
Wednesday January 31st 2024
8:00am PT

Registration, Breakfast and Networking

9:00am PT

Chairs Opening Remarks and Setting the Scene

Kimberly Seals Allers, Founder, Irth App

9:10am PT

Panel Discussion: Healthcare System Adoption and Adaption

This panel will hone in on how healthcare systems are adopting new approaches and adapting current approaches with regards to the provision of maternal care. 

  • How are healthcare systems striving for birth equity?
  • How are healthcare systems adapting their approach to maternal care? Build vs buy?
  • What are the largest hurdles?
  • How are healthcare systems working on educating mothers around their care?
  • How are healthcare systems innovating around populations with access barriers? Aka rural health populations?

Moderator: Lori-Ann Satran, Associate Vice President of Women’s, Infants and Children, HonorHealth

Rachel Sheehan, Corporate Director of Women’s and Newborn Services, UHS
Ericka Gibson, Physician Program Director, Perinatal Safety and Quality, Permanente Medicine 
Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Allegheny Health Network
Rosemond Owens, Director, Health Equity Integration, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

9:50am PT

Panel Discussion: The Maternal Care Mosaic – Patient-Centricity at Every Point of Care

This panel will bring together a breadth of professionals involved in caring for mothers and birthing people including Doulas, Social Workers, Perinatal Psychologists, Lactation Experts & more!

  • How can we as professionals ensure we are collaborating effectively with one another throughout the patient’s care? What aspects are going well in collaboration at the moment and what could be improved?
  • As maternal care evolves, how can the panelists envision the role of technology and evidence-based research in shaping maternal care? Is the future hybrid maternal care? How can technology better centre the patient?
  • How can we as professionals improve patient trust in maternal care?
  • Looking forward, what are we excited about that is on the horizon for maternal care on the policy front?
  • What would each panellist’s 2 call of actions be to ensure the future of maternal care is bright?

Moderator: Katie Spiess, Director of Clinical Service Design, Galileo

Kiran Saluja, Executive Director, PHFE WIC Program; Breastfeeding & Nutrition Services, Heluna Health
Mandy Major, Doula, Founder & CEO Major Care

10:30am PT

Panel Discussion: Innovation in Medicaid Populations

Moderator: Kimberly Seals Allers, Founder, Irth App

Adimika Arthur, CEO & Executive Director, Health Tech for Medicaid (HT4M) 
Von Miles,
General Manager of Health Plans, Ovia
Katie Spiess, 
Director of Clinical Service Design, Galileo

11:00am PT

Morning Refreshments & Networking 

11:45am PT

Fireside Chat: Birth Centres – A Should-Have, Not A Could-Have

Leseliey Welch, Co-founder & CEO, Birth Centre Equity
Kimberly Seals Allers,
Founder, Irth App 

12:20pm PT

Closing Panel Discussion: Future Innovation and Advocacy in Maternal Care

This closing panel will look at the various innovations in maternal care which promise improved outcomes. Looking at various technological innovations in maternal care – remote patient monitoring, telehealth, AI and the value they are providing, as well as non-technological innovations for example provided by communities.

  • Which digital innovations are showing the most success in improving maternal health outcomes? By what metrics is their value being measured? 
  • What access barriers may exist for these? How are companies mitigating these barriers or finding alternative solutions?
  • Which populations are these technologies most transformative for? 
  • The last day and a half we’ve discussed various problems and solutions. How do we take these learnings and move forward?

Moderator: Sarah Hague, Chief Program Officer, Vote Mama

Rosemond Owens,
Director, Health Equity Integration,Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Eric Dy, Founder & CEO, Bloomlife Inc
Sarah Chen,
Vice President of Clinical Innovation, Maven Clinic
Ijeoma Uche
, Co-founder, Birth By Us

12:15pm PT

Chairs Closing Remarks

Kimberly Seals Allers, Founder, Irth App

12:15pm PT

End of The Future of Maternal Care Summit