Teresa Wagner


Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, CHWI, DipACLM, CHWC

Maternal Mortality through a Health Literacy Lens


1. Briefly re-cap your presentation.

Few studies have looked at the effect of health literacy (ability of people to understand and use health information) on maternal morbidity and mortality.

My presentation focused on this issue knowing that women may not understand if symptoms after birth are normal or abnormal and thus, should go to the doctor or hospital. We hypothesized that instructions are too complex and lack cultural sensitivity.

Then, conducted these specific aims integrating service learning by involving our students:

AIM 1. Assess current readability, understandability and cultural sensitivity of information given to moms after birth.

AIM 2. Determine women’s ability to access, understand, appraise and apply postnatal care instructions through one-on-one interviews to evaluate current postpartum education.

From both of the mixed-methods, we learned that our hypothesis was correct. Therefore, we improved postnatal instruction health literacy and cultural sensitivity to help new mothers understand possible problems, act on emergent symptoms and possibly reduce maternal morbidity and death.

2. Where is your work now?  (e.g., published work, dissemination at other conferences).

The AIM 1 paper was recently published. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15398285.2019.1710980 

The AIM 2 paper has been accepted and pending publication. 

Other dissemination is listed below:

 Maternal Mortality Curriculum

o Health Literacy Maternal Mortality Curriculum adopted and available on the National Association of Teachers of Maternal Child Health Website http://www.atmch.org/abating-maternal-mortality-development-innovative-curriculum 


• Abstracts

Daniel Saravia, Amit Aggarwal, TCOM - OMS II, Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, CHWI. "Postpartum Depression: A Psychosocial and Health Literacy Perspective" Accepted for poster presentation at Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science Conference, Honolulu, HI; October 31, 2019.

 Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, CHWI, Marie Stark, MSN, RNC-OB, Erika Thompson PhD, MPH, Amber Gadson, OMS-III, Kim Bush, CHW, CHWI, MPA, Amy Raines-Milenkov, DrPH. Postnatal Education through a Health Literacy Lens: An evaluation of Access, Understanding, Assimilation and Application. Accepted for poster presentation at:

o American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, New Orleans, LA; September 27, 2019. – Second Place in Poster Presentations.

o Infant Health Network Summit, Fort Worth, TX; Sept 12, 2019.

o NEXUS Interprofessional Education Summit, Minneapolis; August 19, 2019.

o Patient Safety Summit, Irving, TX; August 1, 2019.

o Texas Health Disparities Conference, Fort Worth, TX; June 6, 2019.

 • Institute for Healthcare Advancement Health Literacy Conference – Investigator presented a workshop on integrating health literacy into service learning with a Maternal Mortality/Nursing student backdrop.

3. We'd love to hear any successes or lessons learned you would like to share? 

Successes include widespread uptake of the resultant materials and App in postpartum serving organizations including the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities as well as the Texas Hospital Association and the Texas Department of State Health Services Maternal AIM Bundles. App: https://whataboutmom.herokuapp.com/index.html

Learned a lot about the state of maternal health care not only statewide but nationally that leads to the high and increasing rate of maternal morbidity and mortality.


4. Feel free to share anything else you think is important.

Please feel free to disseminate the App and materials (attached). They are free and we are hoping to garner grants to improve/add to content as well as produce and iOS and Android version.

Thank you Teresa for sharing your work once again with HCEA!  We look forward to hearing more insight in the future. 

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