September 19, 2023

Warriors in the Community, Episode 23: The SOS MATERNITY Network

Warriors in the Community is a radio segment that features short, insightful interviews with key figures from Wayne State University about the many ways in which the university and its programs make a positive impact on the metro area and on the lives of Detroiters. 

Episode 23 features a discussion with WSU associate vice president and celebrated physician Dr. Sonia Hassan about the SOS Maternity Network (The Synergy of Scholars in Maternal and Infant Health Equity). Formed to decrease the rates of pre-term birth and improve the health of pregnant mothers and their infants, the first-of-its-kind SOS Maternity Network is a research alliance ofmaternal-fetal medicine physicians across the State of Michigan. The collaborative network includes 14 universities and health care systems, including Wayne State, Michigan State, the Detroit Medical Center and others.



Announcer:  This is Warriors in the Community, brought to you by Wayne State University. And now, to learn about how Wayne State is positively impacting our communities, here's Darrell Dawsey.

Darrell Dawsey: Today, we're joined by Dr. Sonia Hassan, Associate Vice President of Women's Health and founder of the Office of Women's Health at Wayne State University.

She's here to talk about the SOS Maternity Network, which aims to reduce preterm births and improve the health of pregnant women in Detroit. And around Michigan.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the SOS Paternity Network? 

Dr. Sonia Hassan: We are a collaborative, a group of 14 institutions from around the state who are being led by maternal and fetal medicine doctors or high risk pregnancy physicians to implement protocols that are specifically designed to address preterm birth, the leading cause of infant mortality and preeclampsia. One of the leading causes of maternal mortality. 

Darrell Dawsey: You just received funding from the state designed to reduce the rate of preterm birth and help improve some of these health outcomes. Tell us specifically how you plan to use it.

Dr. Sonia Hassan: We are excited to implement our program and it involves really a three pronged approach.

One is to implement some clinical evidence based medicine. Number two is to provide some help with transportation and other economic conditions that patients may have. And the third is to actually incentivize practices and hospitals to participate in this. to bring them on board. 

Darrell Dawsey: Can you give us a sense of the scope of the problem? And it appears to be worsening. Can you maybe tell us why? 

Dr. Sonia Hassan: It seems to be that in the past 15 years, we are at the highest rates of preterm birth. We are also at our highest rates of maternal mortality. Every two minutes, there is a woman who dies from pregnancy and childbirth. And for as far as infant mortality goes, every one in ten is preterm.

And of those, probably one or two of them are going to die from complications of preterm birth. That is substantial. It does affect our African American women more than others, and we have a lot of ethnic disparities that we need to work on with regards to the care of pregnant women around the state, really around the world, but we are focusing on Michigan.

Darrell Dawsey: Dr. Sonia Hassan, thank you so much for joining us. 

Announcer: This has been Warriors in the Community. For more Wayne State news, please visit us online at today. wayne. edu slash wwj and join us here next Monday at the same time for more Warriors in the Community.


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