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Maternal health symposium Saturday at Willow Hill Center

The Willow Hill Heritage & Renaissance Center will host a Maternal Health Symposium: Saving Women's Lives Before, During and After Pregnancy, from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday.

This event, held at the historic Willow Hill School, 4235 Willow Hill Road, near Portal, is a continuation of the center's Commemoration of 400 Years of African American History. Like most other events in the series, it is free and open to the public.

A panel discussion on the role of communities in efforts to prevent maternal deaths in Georgia will open the symposium. About 700 women die annually in the United States from pregnancy-related complications, and about three in five pregnancy-related deaths can be prevented, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Black and Native American women are three times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as white women, according to another CDC statistic cited by the Willow Hill Center.

Lauren Nunally, RNC-OB, who holds a Master of Public Health as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is part of the Georgia Perinatal Quality Collaborative, and Dr. Heidi Altman, coordinator of the Georgia Mom's Project and associate professor of anthropology at Georgia Southern University, will lead the panel discussion.

This will be followed by a breakout session with people from the community participating, "to start the process of developing community strategies to improve maternal health outcomes," the Willow Hill Center announced.

A continental breakfast will be provided for symposium participants.


Museum exhibits

The Willow Hill Center's recently added museum exhibits will also be open for viewing Saturday during the symposium hours.

These include the center's newest exhibit, "Keeping Warm: A History of African American Quilt Making," from a collection of quilts by Georgianna Byrd Davis, 1867-1953; and three exhibits related to slavery and its aftermath: “Tragedy at Ebenezer Creek” with drawings by Isaac McCaslin; “Many Thousands Gone,” prepared by Eric Saul and Amy Fisk in cooperation with the Center for Jubilee, Reconciliation and Healing; and “Beyond Property: Slavery in Coastal Plains Georgia, 1650-1865," prepared by the Georgia Southern University Museum and GS Department of History.

For more information, call the Willow Hill Center at (912) 800-1467 or visit the Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center page on Facebook.

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