Maternal mortality in the U.S. has more than doubled in the last 30 years, making it the highest rate among all developed nations worldwide. With the path to motherhood nearly four times deadlier for women of color, the American Health Law Association (AHLA) invited Marki Stewart to share insights on racial disparities and childbirth as part of its “Speaking of Healthcare” podcast.

Amid this public health crisis heightened by COVID-19, Marki explained most maternal deaths are preventable and preceded by warning signs, but research shows unintentional discrimination leads many health care providers to dismiss, delay, or even deny treatment to women of color.

Marki outlined two approaches to help healthcare attorneys mitigate these issues: tackling implicit bias head on or finding ways to work around it. Her recommended strategies included encouraging health care organizations to hire a more diverse workforce, hosting ongoing implicit bias training, and implementing group prenatal care and access to doulas.

Marki guides hospitals, physician groups, ambulatory surgery centers, and other health care organizations through a variety of business and regulatory issues, with a special focus in health care fraud and abuse. She has represented various health care providers before regulatory boards and bodies, including the Arizona Medical Board, health insurance disciplinary committees, and the Office for Civil Rights.

Listen to Marki’s podcast and read the transcript here.

Read more on Marki’s equity-driven strategies for health care attorneys here.