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Arizona Maternal Mortality Bill Advances

Kate Brophy McGee
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
Kate Brophy McGee.

An Arizona Senate bill that would have health experts take a closer look at the deaths of Arizona moms after childbirth will now be considered in the House. It passed unanimously out of the Senate on Feb. 11.

Republican Sen. Kate Brophy McGee sponsored the bill, Senate Bill 1040.

It requires the Arizona Department of Health Services to appoint a committee to investigate how Arizona could better track and prevent maternal deaths in the state.

Existing data show 89 percent of maternal deaths in the state are preventable. And for every mom that dies, 35 more face significant health problems related to childbirth.

The health department is already looking more deeply into care for Native American moms, who die at a rate four times higher than white moms.

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Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.