Mara D’Amico (’14) has joined the Michigan Women’s Health Initiative (MiWHI), a newly formed Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) initiative at Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center for the University of Michigan. D’Amico will serve as the initiative’s Senior Engagement Specialist.
The Michigan Women’s Health Initiative will join other CQIs in operation under Michigan Medicine’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI), a university-based research institute that seeks to address some of the most costly and common areas of surgical and medical care.
The Women’s Health Initiative will focus its efforts on improving the value of obstetric and gynecologic healthcare in Michigan, working statewide to improve women’s healthcare so that it’s responsive to women’s needs, respects their preferences, and supports women in leading safe, healthy lives. The initiative will seek to partner with physician organizations across the state to provide equitable care that improves women’s health outcomes.
“I'll be leading outreach and engagement with OBGYNs and clinics statewide to secure and support their participation in MiWHI,” D’Amico said. “I'll also be leading outreach with patients and community organizations to ensure that their needs, preferences, and priorities are centered throughout the initiative.”
Additionally, D’Amico was appointed to two committees through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Maternal Infant Health Division: The Health Equity Action Committee and the Optimal Birth Spacing Action Committee. She will also serve on the Board of Trustees for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.
D’Amico, who spent more than half a decade living and working in Washington, D.C., returned to her home state of Michigan in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to work remotely and provide additional support for her family.
“My dad was recently diagnosed with dementia and it's been particularly important for me to be near family during this time,” D’Amico said. “I was seeking opportunities that would allow me to be close to family in Grand Rapids and build upon the work I've done at the national level to have an impact on women's health in my home state.”
D’Amico’s work at the national level includes efforts with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She was a McLarty Scholar and the Hillary Rodham Clinton Communications Fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She also coordinated policy development on global women’s issues for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
In her role with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Washington, D.C., she partnered with physicians, health systems, and maternal-child health collaboratives across the country to train more than 4,000 health care providers to offer a full range of reproductive health care options and equitable care to patients to improve care quality and health outcomes.
Her focus on women's health and women's rights extended to her time as a Clinton School student. She dedicated her International Public Service Project to supporting groups for survivors of gender-based violence in Nicaragua. As part of her Capstone project with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, D’Amico researched the effects of teen pregnancy and birth on education in Arkansas. She co-authored three reports – "Delivering Better Education," "Our Common Journey" and "The Voices of Women" – that addressed barriers in a 21st century education for the state's women and girls.
“I care deeply about health equity and women's rights,” D’Amico said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to improve the value and impact of care across the lifespan for women in Michigan.”
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