Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC)
The Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC) is an initiative of the Bureau of Family Health and an authorized agent of the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and Prevention of Infant Mortality. LaPQC is a network of perinatal care providers, public health professionals, and advocates who work to improve outcomes for birthing persons, families, and newborns in Louisiana. The LaPQC serves a vital role in supporting birthing facilities across the state in implementing evidence-based best practices that promote safe, equitable, and dignified birth.
For more information, contact Dr. Veronica Gillispie-Bell, MD, MAS, Medical Director, Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative and Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review.
The LaPQC provides support for continuous quality improvement related to perinatal and neonatal outcomes. This partnership aligns with the Bureau of Family Health’s vision to make Louisiana a place where all people are valued to reach their full potential, from birth through the next generation. Program staff are working on the following initiatives during the 2023-2024 state fiscal year:
Learn more about these programs using the links below:
- breastfeeding and infant nutrition through The Gift;
- maternal mortality, morbidity, and birth outcomes through the Safe Births Initiative; and
- improving the identification, care, and treatment of birthing persons and newborns affected by opioids and substance use through the Improving Care for the Substance-Exposed Dyad (ICSED) Initiative.
- understanding screening and referral pathways for caregivers of infants in the Caregiver Perinatal Depression Screening in Pediatrics pilot.
Health Equity in Practice
Why do we say "birthing persons"? The LaPQC commits to using the term birthing person - rather than mom, mother, or woman – in an effort to be more inclusive and respectful of all identities. Similarly, out of respect for all kinds of relationships, the LaPQC uses the word partner to describe those individuals who support birthing persons and parents. Honoring an individual’s identity and experience is an important part of promoting safe, equitable, and dignified birth for all birthing persons in Louisiana.
To learn more about equity in communication, explore CDC's Health Equity Guiding Principles for Inclusive Communication.
Birth Ready Designation
In an effort to recognize participating LaPQC facilities and create a system of sustained evidence-based change, the Collaborative now offers the Louisiana Birth Ready Designation. With two tiers of achievement – Louisiana Birth Ready and Louisiana Birth Ready+ – the Designation recognizes facilities' consistent, thoughtful healthcare improvement work. Birth Ready Designation also celebrates improved perinatal health outcomes, the result of implementing clinical practices that promote safe, equitable, and dignified birth for all birthing persons in Louisiana.
Each Designation level includes five areas of requirement: participation in collaborative learning; health disparity and patient partnership; policies and procedures; structures and education; and outcome and process measures. Many of the hospitals awarded Designation have been working for years with the LaPQC, implementing evidence-based best practices that address common causes of maternal mortality and morbidity related to hemorrhage and hypertension, as well as practices that promote vaginal birth. Hospitals receiving Birth Ready Designation did not pay for this honor; rather, facilities went through a rigorous application and review process by the LaPQC to receive Designation.
Click here to view the list of Louisiana hospitals that have achieved Birth Ready or Birth Ready+ Designation.
New Law: Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act
The PUMP Act is a new law that makes several important changes and closes loopholes in the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law, which has required since 2010 that employers nationwide provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom space for lactating employees to pump milk during the workday
Under the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law, as updated by the PUMP Act, employers of ALL sizes are required to provide a reasonable amount of break time and a clean, private space for lactating workers to express milk for up to one year following the birth of the employee’s child. The pumping space cannot be a bathroom. These protections apply regardless of the employee’s gender identity.
The PUMP Act:
- Expands the legal right to receive pumping breaks and private space to nearly 9 million more workers, including teachers, registered nurses, farmworkers, and many others.
- Makes it possible for an employee to file a lawsuit against an employer that violates the law.
- Clarifies that pumping time counts as time worked when calculating minimum wage and overtime if an employee is not completely relieved from their work duties during the pumping break.
- Clarifies that employers with fewer than 50 employees must provide break time and space.
Please download the document below, which provides more detail on the PUMP Act, the available protections, resources if an employer does not comply, and information on what the Louisiana Dept. of Health (LDH), Office of Public Health (OPH), and Bureau of Family Health (BFH) are doing to support lactating employees.
Additional Resources on the PUMP Act:
- LDH Employees can find information about LDH policy on supporting lactating employees in accordance with federal and state regulations: LDH Employee Lactation Support
- For Employees who work in Benson Tower: Benson Tower Lactation Room Guidelines
- For Employees who work in the Bienville Building: Bienville Lactation Room Guidelines
- Find more information about the PUMP Act from the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee and resources for rail carriers and motorcoach employees: U.S. Breastfeeding Committee
- For comprehensive information and resources about the law: U.S. Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act
Reducing Maternal Morbidity Initiative: Reports
The Reducing Maternal Morbidity Initiative Final Report
If you’d like more information or are interested in collaborating with the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative, email LaPQC@la.gov. Visit the LaPQC Directory for specific leadership contact information.