Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee


Identifying Maternal Deaths in Texas Using an Enhanced Method, 2012 

A new study by researchers at the Texas Department of State Health Services entitled Identifying Maternal Deaths in Texas Using an Enhanced Method, 2012 has found the number of maternal deaths in Texas in 2012 was actually less than half the number previously reported. The peer-reviewed research, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, determined there were 56 maternal deaths among Texas residents compared with 147 reported in national statistics. The article may be viewed at this link

Background and Purpose

The Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force was created by Senate Bill 495, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013,  which added Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 34. Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force. The name of the Task Force was changed to the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee by Senate Bill 750, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019 in alignment with the federal Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2018

The multidisciplinary review committee within the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will study maternal mortality and morbidity. The review committee:

  • studies and reviews cases of pregnancy-related deaths and trends in severe maternal morbidity,
  • determines the feasibility of the review committee studying cases of severe maternal morbidity, and
  • makes recommendations to help reduce the incidence of pregnancy-related deaths and severe maternal morbidity in Texas.

The review committee and DSHS must submit a joint report on the findings of the review committee and recommendations to the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the House of Representatives, and appropriate committees of the Texas Legislature by September 1 of each even-numbered year, beginning September 1, 2016.

Members of the review committee were appointed by the DSHS commissioner and serve six-year staggered terms. In making the initial appointments, the commissioner designated five members to serve terms expiring February 1, 2015, four members to serve terms expiring February 1, 2017, and four members to serve terms expiring February 1, 2019.

Current Members

Dr. Lisa Hollier, Chair, Physician specializing in Obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine specialist, Houston
Dr. Carla Ortique, Vice Chair, Physician specializing in Obstetrics, Houston
Dr. Manda Hall, DSHS representative - Associate Commissioner Community Health Improvement Division, Austin
Dr. Meitra Doty, Physician specializing in Psychiatry, Dallas
Dr. Linda Gaul, DSHS representative - State Epidemiologist, Austin
Ms. Kimberly Griffen, Community Advocate, Pearland      
Dr. Pamala Gessling, Registered Nurse, Dallas
Dr. James Maher, Physician specializing in Obstetrics, Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist, Odessa
Dr. D. Kimberley Molina, Medical Examiner, San Antonio
Dr. Sherri Onyiego, Physician specializing in Family Practice, Houston     
Dr. Amy Raines Milenkov, Researcher of pregnancy-related deaths, Fort Worth
Dr. Patrick Ramsey, Physician specializing in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, San Antonio
Ms. Nancy Jo Reedy, Certified Nurse-Midwife, Arlington
Ms. Nancy Alderman, Social Worker, Austin
Dr. Eumenia Castro, Pathologist, Houston
Dr. Lavannya Pandit, Physician specializing in Critical Care, Houston
Dr. Christina Murphey, Nurse specializing in Labor and Delivery, Corpus Christi

Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee Legislative Reports

Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force and Department of State Health Services Joint Biennial Report, September 2018

Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force and Department of State Health Services Joint Biennial Report, July 2016

Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force Report, September 2014

Maternal Mortality in Texas: Using Precision Public Health to Improve Maternal Outcomes (with Appendix) 

Explanation of methodologies and sources used in various interpretations of the rates of maternal mortality and related causes and risk factors in Texas, as well as examples of activities and collaborations (planned or already in place) directly related to the recommendations made by the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee.

Maternal Mortality in Texas: Using Precision Public Health to Improve Maternal Outcomes

Appendix – Maternal Mortality in Texas:  A Comparison of Maternal Mortality Rate Change Using Different Methods 

Upcoming Meeting Dates

Date Time Location
March 15, 2019* 9:00am DSHS, Moreton 100, 1100 W. 49th St, Austin
June 21, 2019 9:00am DSHS, Moreton 100, 1100 W. 49th St, Austin
September 20, 2019 9:00am DSHS, Moreton 100, 1100 W. 49th St, Austin
December 6, 2019 9:00am DSHS, Moreton 100, 1100 W. 49th St, Austin
March 6, 2020 9:00am  HHSC, Brown-Heatly Building 1410-1430, 4900 N Lamar Blvd, Austin
June 5, 2020 9:00am  DSHS, Moreton 100, 1100 W. 49th St, Austin

*Meeting closed to the public. More Information

Please contact MaternalHealth@DSHS.texas.gov

Last updated September 26, 2019