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The MCDR initiative is in partnership with the Alaska Department of Health, Division of Public Health / Women’s, Children’s, and Family Unit - to reduce severe maternal morbidity and mortality. 


This work will:

  • Facilitate an understanding of the drivers of maternal mortality and complications of pregnancy and better understand the associated disparities.

  • Determine what interventions at patient, provider, facility, system, and community levels will have the most effect.

  • Inform the implementation of initiatives in the right places for families and communities who need them most.


The MCDR committee reviews all Alaska maternal deaths. MCDR defines a maternal death as any death within one year of pregnancy due to any cause.


AHHA partners with the State and the volunteer members of the Maternal Child Death Review Committee to publish and promote a comprehensive list of recommendations with the goal of preventing future maternal deaths. 

MCDR is seeking healthcare providers, behavioral health clinicians, social service and violence intervention professionals, and first responders who work with rural Alaskan mothers and children to participate in multidisciplinary review meetings. The involvement of panelists who are Tribal Members, People of Color and who have experience working directly with populations experiencing health disparities is essential to MCDR’s efforts to promote health equity by identifying and making recommendations to address systemic factors underlying preventable deaths.


To learn more about membership requirements or to nominate a potential panelist, please contact Maternal and Child Death Review Program at

​AHHA has developed a Severe Maternal Morbidity Review Toolkit to support people who are working to improve the quality of perinatal care provided mainly at the hospital level. The toolkit includes resources for conducting Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM) reviews and forms to support review committees.

State of Alaska Fast Facts:

  • The Maternal Child Death Review (MCDR) committee reviews all Alaska maternal deaths. MCDR defines a maternal death as any death within one year of pregnancy due to any cause.

  • The MCDR committee has found that most recent maternal deaths in Alaska were potentially preventable, with at least some chance to alter the outcome.

  • Drug or alcohol use or substance use disorders contributed to 63% of all pregnancy-associated deaths in Alaska during 2014-2018. Mental health conditions contributed to 31%. (MCDR)

  • In 2019, 12.3% of all Alaskans delivering live births experienced postpartum depressive symptoms. (PRAMS)

  • Among all Alaskans delivering live births in 2019, 14% reported that they had depression and 22% reported they had anxiety during pregnancy. (PRAMS)

Annual preventive care visits with women of childbearing age are a chance to conduct critical screening, counseling and referrals for behavioral health needs and provide other care to optimize the health of women before, between and beyond potential pregnancies. In 2019, 72% of Alaskan women ages 18-44 said they had visited a doctor for a routine checkup in the past year.

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