Courtesy of
Courtesy of

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday announced Urban One — formerly known as Radio One — as the official media partner for the District’s first Maternal and Infant Health Summit this week.

Urban One, led by founder and chair Cathy Hughes, is the largest African-American-owned and -operated broadcast company in the country. The Sept. 12 summit begins 9 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and will be broadcast on the nationally syndicated network.

“As we turn our country’s attention to this important issue, it is critical that we include a diverse set of voices and experiences,” Bowser said. “By working together, we can build healthier communities, improve outcomes for women and babies, and save lives.”

Bowser said the summit’s schedule of events will include a luncheon and four panels led by elected officials, health experts and medical professionals.

In addition, Bowser, along with Hughes and Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, will participate during the luncheon in a conversation about maternal and infant health.

“We are proud to partner with Mayor Bowser on this historic summit and share her vision to improve maternal and infant health in D.C. and across the country,” Hughes said. “Radio One is an important source of information for many across the District and the country, and it is our commitment to engage our community on all issues that affect us.”

The panels are as follows:

Panel 1: “Mayoral Panel: Best Practices and Lessons Learned”

During the first panel, mayors from across the country will discuss successes and challenges in their communities. The panel includes Mayors Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Ind., Toni Harp of New Haven, Conn., Vi Lyles of Charlotte, N.C., Catherine Pugh of Baltimore, Lovely Warren of Rochester, N.Y., and Karen Weaver of Flint, Mich.

Panel 2: “A Healthy Start for All: Why Maternal and Infant Health Matters”

The second panel will feature experts in the fields of maternal and infant health, including: Dr. Roger A. Mitchell Jr., D.C. chief medical examiner; Dr. Michael Lu, George Washington University professor and senior associate dean for academic, student and faculty affairs and former director of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau; Stacey D. Stewart, March of Dimes president; Maria Gomez, president and CEO of Mary’s Center; and Kelly Sweeney McShane, Community of Hope president and CEO.

Panel 3: “Community Driven Solutions: The Key to Sustainable Progress”

The third panel will highlight community-driven solutions to building healthier communities and will include Dr. Tanya Royster, director of the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health; Brenda Rhodes Miller, executive director of DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy; Sarah Barclay Hoffman, assistant director of the Early Childhood Innovation Network; and Cherie Craft, CEO and founding executive director of Smart from the Start.

Panel 4: “Place Matters .… and So Does Quality: Clinical Innovations in Perinatal Health”

This panel will highlight how place-based initiatives, which infuse a broad-range of customized resources into a community, are being used to improve health outcomes. This panel includes: Dr. Pamela Riley, medical director of the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance; Dr. Hugh E. Mighty, dean of the College of Medicine and vice president of clinical affairs at Howard University; Dr. Dana Smith, maternal fetal medicine specialist at Kaiser Permanente; Dr. Audra Meadows, chair of Massachusetts Perinatal Quality Collaborative; and Dr. Melissa Fries, reproductive geneticist and high-risk obstetrician at MedStar Health.

Throughout the summit, community-based nonprofits and organizations will also provide information about their programs and services in the exhibition hall.

The summit is free and open to the public.

For more information, go to

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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