UMSOM and UMB to lead Maryland’s Abortion Clinical Care Training Program with $10.6 million grant

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A $10.6 million training grant has been awarded to the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to administer Maryland's Abortion Clinical Care Training Program. The grant will be used to expand the number of healthcare professionals with abortion care training, increase the racial and ethnic diversity among health care professionals with abortion care education, and support the identification of clinical sites needing training.

Our training will target a major public health problem of abortion care training and abortion care access in our state. We will specifically address training clinicians in underserved areas and rural areas in Maryland to help reverse health inequities and to provide reproductive health care services to those in need."

Jessica K. Lee, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and co-principal investigator on this training program

Program funds will be distributed to participating organizations, including Planned Parenthood of Maryland to operate a community-based clinical site and the National Abortion Federation to support the University of Maryland, Baltimore in developing the statewide training system. An additional community-based clinical site will be identified later this year. The funding period for this grant will run through June 30, 2026.

"This funding represents a major step toward fortifying reproductive rights with abortion training and education," said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Laura Herrera Scott, MD, MPH. "These comprehensive training programs, along with Governor Moore's additional funding to support Medicaid providers, will help keep abortion care in Maryland safe and accessible for generations."

Abortions are safe when provided by qualified health providers. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has cited restrictions on the types of clinicians who can perform abortions as barriers to accessing services and improving care quality and safety.

Physicians, certified nurse midwives, certified nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who are interested in being notified when the training program application goes live, can submit their contact information at: https://forms.office.com/r/uWyxp2DNaf

"We recognize that expanding access to reproductive health services will require a team based approach involving multiple health professionals," said Mary Jo Bondy, DHEd, Director of Graduate Studies for the Graduate School at UMB and co-principal investigator on this training program. "Through legislative action and this funding to expand clinical training, Marylanders will be able to readily access these services in the communities where they live."

In 2020, more than 60 percent of Maryland counties had no community-based clinics that provided abortions. Expanding the pool of clinicians who provide abortion care-;particularly in communities where abortions are more difficult to access and for patient populations that experience discrimination within the health care system-;is critical to improving equitable access to care across the state.

"As a woman and Marylander, I am so grateful to live in our state and work for our institution, where women's health and women's health education are so valued," said Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UMSOM.

Funding for the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program was established in 2022 by theAbortion Care Access Act, which helps ensure access to high-quality, safe abortion care in Maryland by providing a grant for clinical training of abortion care providers and their clinical care teams​.

"I am proud that our faculty are committed to women's health and women's reproductive rights," said Mark T. Gladwin, MD, who is the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of UMSOM, and Vice President for Medical Affairs at University of Maryland, Baltimore. "We are a magnet program that empowers women and advances the training of providers focused on serving our community and improving the vitality of mothers and babies in the State of Maryland."

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