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By Adam Rizvi, TIO. PORTLAND, Maine – Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy assumed their new roles as National Governors Association presidents today (NGA). First Lady Murphy will serve as the Association’s Governors’ Spouses’ Program Chair, previously held by Susan Hutchinson, wife of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who will be replaced by Governor Murphy as Chairman of the NGA.
During a panel discussion with Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Lead of Merck for Mothers, First Lady Tammy Murphy also presented her NGA project, “Creating a National Model to Tackle the Maternal and Infant Health Crisis,” in addition to accepting her role as Chair of the Spouses’ Program. In the coming year, the effort will consist of four roundtables with the following goals: elevating innovative maternal and infant health policies, programs, and technology; improving and utilizing maternal and infant health data; increasing access and quality of care.
“I am incredibly honored to serve as the NGA’s Governors’ Spouses’ Program Chair and look forward to collaborating across all 50 states to eliminate our country’s maternal and infant health crisis,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “As the wealthiest nation in the world, the United States should be a global model for maternal health care, but the shocking and unacceptable reality is that we are ranked 55th in the world for maternal deaths. Every mother and baby across our nation should begin their life together in health, wellness, and joy. I am eager to work with my fellow Governors’ spouses and partners to make each of our states, and our country as a whole, the safest and most equitable place in the world to deliver and raise a baby.”
The First Lady is no stranger to the cause, which she has championed in New Jersey since the beginning of Governor Murphy’s administration in 2018.
In order to reduce maternal and infant mortality in New Jersey and to ensure equitable care for women and children of all races and ethnicities, the state’s first lady, Tammy Murphy, launched Nurture NJ in 2019. She unveiled the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan in January 2021 with the goal of halving maternal mortality in New Jersey over the course of five years and eradicating racial disparities in birth outcomes. Since its inception, Nurture NJ has developed and implemented ground-breaking programs and policies, hosted annual Black Maternal and Infant Health Leadership Summits, witnessed the signing of 43 pieces of maternal and infant health legislation by Governor Murphy, and more, constructing New Jersey as a leader in the fight against the maternal and infant health crisis.
“I am in awe of the bold leadership that First Lady Tammy Murphy has shown in her mission to combat maternal and infant mortality through the Nurture NJ initiative, and I am excited to see that more and more state leaders are focusing on this issue,” said Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Lead of Merck for Mothers. “Ending preventable maternal mortality is possible if we collaborate more across sectors and Merck for Mothers is proud to be part of our nation’s journey to eliminate maternal health inequities.”
Curated By Leen Hamade