Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Invites Houstonians to Participate U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Hosts Roundtable with Harris County and Houston Elected Officials and Faith Leaders to Address the Region’s Alarming Black Maternal Death Rate

Black Maternal Death Rate Flyer

May 20, 2022 -- On Saturday, May 21, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Region 6 Regional Director, Sima Ladjevardian, and HHS’ The Partnership Center Director, Reverend Dr. Que English, will convene faith leaders for the Faith + Works Black Maternal Health Community Conversation and Call to Action from 10:00am-12:00pm at Texas Southern University.

Participants will include U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, maternal health experts, federal partners, and community members to identify ways the faith community can support moms experiencing maternal health challenges and change the trajectory of maternal mortality. This event will examine ways Harris County community leaders can work collaboratively to eliminate barriers to accessing pre-conception and post-conception maternal health support and will raise awareness about maternal resources available in Houston and Harris County.

According to the 2021 March of Dimes Report Card, Harris County received an F in preterm births, with black women making up the highest number of preterm births at 15.8% in Harris County and 41% of preterm births in Texas. Preterm (premature) birth, which is a live birth before 37 weeks gestation, is one of the most pressing challenges to maternal, infant, and child health in the United States.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Commissioner Rodney Ellis, and Mayor Sylvester Turner will present Proclamations declaring May 21 as Maternal Health Day in Texas’ 18th Congressional District, Harris County, and the City of Houston.

WHO:

  • Sima Ladjevardian, Region VI Regional Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Rev. Dr. Que English, Director, Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (The Partnership Center), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
  • Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis (Pct 1)
  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
  • Bishop James Dixon, II, Senior Pastor Community of Faith Church
  • Janice Pender, First Lady, Fallbrook Church
  • ​Sheretta West, First Lady, Church Without Walls
  • Dr. Mia K. Wright, Co-Pastor, Fountain of Praise Church

WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 202210:00 am – 12:00 pm

WHERE: Texas Southern University; Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Room 114, 1st Floor, Auditorium, 3100 Cleburne Street, Houston, TX 77004

PRESS: This event will be open press with media availability before and after the program. The signing of the Proclamations with the elected officials will take place between 10:30am - 11am.

CONTACT: Press interested in attending must RSVP to veronica.moore@hhs.gov, 469-278-3032.