Philly nonprofit addressing maternal mortality rates gets $3 million gift from philanthropist

Christie Ileto Image
Thursday, April 13, 2023
Local nonprofit addressing maternal mortality rates gets $3M gift
Kensington-based nonprofit Maternity Care Coalition received a generous $3 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- According to a new report by the CDC, during the pandemic, more women died during pregnancy or within the first year of having a child.

Local nonprofit Maternity Care Coalition is working to change that, especially among women of color.

This week is Black Maternal Health Week and the Kensington-based organization just got some much needed help from philanthropist, Mackenzie Scott. Scott is the ex-wife of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.

"It was so exciting because it's affirmation," said Marianne Fray, CEO of Maternity Care Coalition.

Fray says the unrestricted $3 million gift from Scott will allow them to better serve families in the five counties and two states that they have programs in.

"Three million dollars is not going to erase the historic inequities that have led to the rates of maternal mortality," she said. "We are conscious of that and want to be responsible and think about how we can take this investment and innovate to have a greater impact."

As of 2022, in Philadelphia, Black women made up 73% of pregnancy related deaths. Maternity Care Coalition is working to change that by connecting families to therapists, diapers, books, and doulas.

The organization serves about 4,000 families a year, working to ensure women don't become part of the CDC's latest statistic.