The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) announces more than 30 hospitals have joined in a statewide collaborative to protect moms before, during and after labor and delivery. The goal is to reduce severe maternal morbidity related to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy by 20% within 18 months.

The Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health – or AIM as it is known – is part of a national movement to standardize maternal care. Each year in Arizona, approximately 70 women die within 365 days of pregnancy, of which 15-20 deaths are pregnancy-related cases.

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“When I was having my babies, I wasn’t a nurse, I was a mom,” said Danielle Edwards, RN who experienced harrowing labor and deliveries with her now healthy six- and four-year-old children. Edwards explains how, during two different pregnancies, her maternal health was in jeopardy and now sees how AIM collaboration efforts can provide standard, best practice care for hypertensive disorders. “Since my deliveries, I have met mom, after mom who have had symptoms, met partners without their wives, moms without their children to raise. This does not have to happen.”

“When we look at the data, we know we can improve care and outcomes,” explains Vicki Buchda, AzHHA’s Vice President of Care Improvement. “The rising rates in severe maternal complications and death can be reversed. This collaborative will allow healthcare providers to learn from each other, encourage discussion between hospitals and help us to share successes together.”

AIM Collaborative partners include the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health, the Arizona Perinatal Trust, the March of Dimes Arizona Chapter and key stakeholders state-wide.

“AzHHA has a successful history in quality improvement initiatives, and their committed team has been an invaluable partner in moving these efforts forward,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of ADHS. “By participating in this collaborative’s first cohort, birthing facilities are joining a national initiative that’s improving maternal health outcomes.”

“Arizona AIM will save lives,” said Breann Westmore, maternal infant health director, March of Dimes Arizona Chapter. “Arizona hospitals and community partners have committed to working together to make Arizona a healthy and safe place to give birth.”

AzHHA is leading the Arizona AIM Collaborative to help birthing facilities in Arizona implement evidence-based maternal safety bundles, starting with the AIM Severe Hypertension in Pregnancy Bundle.

Any Arizona birthing facility may join the growing and engaged Arizona AIM Collaborative. There is no cost to join, and participation is voluntary. To learn more, visit