Community Partners Host Free Event to Raise Awareness About Maternal Health and Racial Disparities

Atrium Health Navicent, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon-Bibb County Health Department and Navicent Health Foundation host maternal health event May 3

The community is invited to learn more about maternal health and racial disparities by participating in a free interactive event on May 3 hosted by Atrium Health Navicent, Mercer University School of Medicine, the Macon-Bibb County Health Department and the Navicent Health Foundation.

Atrium Health Navicent Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrice Walker, a board trained OB-GYN, will share information about unconscious bias and its unintended impact on health care. There will also be a screening of the short film, “Toxic: A Black Woman’s Story.”

The event will also include a discussion about community solutions and a question-and-answer session featuring a panel of experts. In addition to Walker, panelists will include:

• Dr. Jimmie Smith, Macon Bibb County Health Department administrator

• Dr. Jacob Warren, director of the Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities at Mercer University

• Dr. Felisha Kitchen, an Atrium Health Navicent OB-GYN

• Patricia Prime, a registered nurse and certified postpartum doula

“Atrium Health Navicent is proud to join our community partners in providing this vital information as part of our continuing efforts to improve outcomes for mothers and babies,” said Atrium Health Navicent President and CEO Delvecchio Finley.

“As a health system, we are committed to bridging barriers to health equity as we improve health and wellness, elevate hope, and advance healing for ALL.”

The event will be held in the Presidents Dining Room at Mercer University from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and is open to the public.

To RSVP, email Although in-person attendance is limited, individuals can also participate virtually. The event will be live streamed on the Atrium Health Navicent Facebook page.

“Nothing is more important than improving maternal outcomes and decreasing health disparities for women in Georgia,” said Mercer University School of Medicine Dean Dr. Jean Sumner. “Many of these disparities result from a lack of access in rural areas of our state. Mercer University School of Medicine was founded on the mission to address these health disparities. Together, with great partners like Atrium Health Navicent and the Macon-Bibb County Health Department, I believe we can find solutions.” Georgia has the second-highest maternal mortality rate in the nation, and due to a number of factors, black women in our state are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications.

“It’s important that we do all we can to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities that impact health care, not only to improve the system, but to empower patients to advocate for the very best care,” Smith said. “There are often golden opportunities carefully disguised as irresolvable problems. Together, we can reduce the number of pregnancy-related complications and deaths, and sustain our families in the process.”

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit

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