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Merck for Mothers, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Innovates Announce Program to Address Aboriginal Maternal Mortality

On Dec. 2, Merck for Mothers, together with Alberta Innovates and Alberta Health Services, launched a new program, "Innovation to Improve Access and Care Quality for Aboriginal Women in Alberta," to address maternal health needs in the indigenous communities of Alberta. With the help of a $1 million grant from Merck Canada Inc., through the Merck for Mothers program, and a $300,000 grant from Alberta Innovates, Alberta Health Services (AHS) will partner with Merck to develop the collaborative initiative to improve access to high quality care for aboriginal mothers in Maskwacis, Little Red River Cree Nation and inner-city Edmonton.

The communities will benefit from the new funding through enhanced quality of prenatal care closer to home, culturally grounded education and peer support in the weeks before and after birth, as well as improved care coordination and evaluation. Pride in Aboriginal culture, sharing of traditions and cultural wisdom will also be promoted to strengthen the overall care and support of Aboriginal mothers.

Read the Merck Canada press release to learn more about this program.

(Top row, from left to right): Mr. Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton; Mr. Randy Littlechild, Executive Director, Maskwacis Health Centre; Dr. Naveen Rao, Lead, Merck for Mothers; Mr. Wayne Burnstick, Elder; Mr. Chirfi Guindo, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada Inc.; and Mr. Jason Krips, Deputy Minister, Alberta Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. (Bottom row, from left to right): Dr. Pamela Valentine, Transition Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Innovates; Ms. Cecilia Blasetti, Executive Director, Boyle McCauley Health Centre and Pregnancy Pathways; and Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO, Alberta Health Services. (CNW Group/Merck Canada Inc.)