DALLAS – A pro bono team from Reed Smith has advised the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) in urging the release of a Joint Report from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee (MMMRC) containing findings and recommendations for addressing the state’s maternal health crisis.
Mother and daughter embracing

The report was released on Dec. 16, 2022, more than three months beyond the statutorily mandated due date of Sept. 1. The long-delayed report’s ultimate release was the direct result of advocacy from state lawmakers and leading health care professionals and organizations, including the SMFM.

Based in Washington, D.C., the SMFM is a nonprofit association representing more than 5,500 clinicians and researchers with expertise in high-risk pregnancy. Reed Smith has advised the SMFM on this matter pro bono with co-counsel Democracy Forward.

“We are very pleased to see that DSHS finally released the 2022 Joint Report on maternal mortality and morbidity in Texas, albeit over three months past the statutorily mandated deadline,” said Sarah Cummings Stewart, the Dallas-based Reed Smith partner who is leading the firm’s pro bono team in this matter.

“While it is regrettable that it took the threat of legal action to compel its publication, we are happy to see that the report was ultimately made available in advance of the 2023 legislative session and hope that the Review Committee’s sobering findings and critical recommendations inform the Legislature’s priorities in the coming months,” Stewart said.

The Reed Smith pro bono team for SMFM led by Stewart included partners Katherine Basile, Nicholas Insua, Christine Morgan, Lawrence Waks, and Chris Watt; counsel Phillip Babich, and Jillian Burstein; associates Christian Castile, Le Duong, Kat Kershner and Roswill Mejia; staff attorney Liz Jurkacek; and paralegal David Brichler.

For more information, please see the Dec. 16 news release from Democracy Forward.