Recommitting to Women’s Health

In November, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an increase in the country’s infant mortality rate for the first time in 20 years.

Michigan was one of the many states that individually experienced an increase, rising to 6.5 from 6.2 for every 1,000 births.

With birthing centers located throughout the state, McLaren Health Care and Dr. Brian Tesler, the system’s Chief Medical Director of Women’s Health, are in the position to take direct action to address that troubling trend.

Bringing together clinical leadership, physicians, and labor and delivery teams from McLaren birthing centers across the state, Dr. Tesler, along with McLaren Health Care Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Justin Klamerus, led a day-long, actionable symposium aimed at examining the causes of infant mortality in order to address those specific factors and improve Michigan’s birthing environment.

“Healthy mothers make healthy babies,” Dr. Tesler said. “That right there is our starting point—increasing access to mothers and getting the level of prenatal care they need. Hardwiring this process of getting expectant mothers under our care early on in their pregnancies and with regularity will allow us as care teams to thoroughly evaluate and address any needs.”

Dr. Tesler continued, “It was distressing to read that report, knowing the real-life impact this issue has on so many women and their families. That was all the motivation we needed to rededicate ourselves and launch this focused initiative to reverse the trend.”

Visit to find your nearest McLaren Family Birthplace.

About McLaren Health Care
McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a $6.6 billion, fully integrated health care delivery system committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 13 hospitals in Michigan, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, a 490-member employed primary and specialty care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 732,838 lives in Michigan and Indiana, home health, infusion and hospice providers, pharmacy services, a clinical laboratory network and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Karmanos Cancer Institute, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. McLaren has 28,000 full-, part-time and contracted employees and more than 113,000 network providers throughout Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Learn more at