Serena Williams Invests in Company to End Black Maternal Mortality

Black mothers are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth than white ones, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Black maternal mortality. The longstanding and pervasive problem has had a lot of attention from progressive politicians in recent months. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and 2020 hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Healthy MOMMIES Act to Medicaid coverage to prenatal, labor and postpartum care. Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) and Alma Adams (D-N.C.) formed the Black Maternal Health Caucus in April. Mahmee, a company working to end maternal mortality, just received big donations from tennis champion Serena Williams and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

 

The company builds an “online dashboard to connect mothers and infants with health care professionals, with technology that “proactively engages, checks on and monitors patients through ‘maternity coaches’ and escalates concerns to doctors so that mom and baby’s care plan stays up to date and critical red flags aren’t missed,” according to a press release. It is being sold through hospitals and other health systems. Williams nearly died when she gave birth to her daughter, as she explained in a personal essay published last year on CNN.com. Approximately 24-hours after her delivery, she suffered from a blood clot in her abdomen.

 

So, Williams is determined to give back to try and improve healthcare for women of color. “I am incredibly excited to invest and partner with Mahmee, a company that personifies my firm’s investment philosophy,” Williams said in a Monday statement from the company. “Given the bleak data surrounding maternal death and injury rates, I believe that it is absolutely critical right now to invest in solutions that help protect the lives of moms and babies.”

 

The funding round that just completed that raised $3 million with Williams’ and Cuban’s help and will be used to grow the company’s team of engineers, clinicians and sales staff.

 

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