Maine Maternal, Fetal, and Infant Mortality Review (MFIMR) Panel

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The Maine MFIMR Mission: With Statutory Authority given by 22 MRSA : § 261, the MFIMR Panel is charged to identify factors that contribute to maternal, fetal, and infant mortality; to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current maternal/infant health care delivery system; and to make recommendations to decrease the rate of maternal, fetal, and infant mortality.

Based on national models from the federal CDC and the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention (NCFRP), the Maine CDC’s MFIMR Panel is a multidisciplinary group of about 30-40 health care and social service providers, public health officials, and other persons with professional expertise in maternal, fetal, and infant health and mortality. All Panel members are volunteers and are bound by confidentiality. The Panel meets quarterly to review de-identified cases to gain an understanding of the factors associated with maternal, fetal, and infant deaths to expand the state’s capacity to direct prevention efforts and to be able to take actions to promote the health and wellbeing of Maine’s families. The MFIMR process is not designed to assign fault or blame. It is not a morbidity and mortality (M&M) review as a hospital or health care practice might use to debrief cases. Using a public health approach, the program’s goal is to strengthen community resources and enhance state and local systems and policies affecting pregnant people, infants, and families to improve health outcomes in this population and prevent maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.

With the help of the Division of Records and Vital Statistics (DRVS) and Maine CDC epidemiologists, the MFIMR Panel Coordinator reviews the deaths of all pregnant people during pregnancy or within one year of giving birth, the majority of cases in which a fetal death occurs after 28 weeks of gestation (stillbirth) and the majority of deaths of infants under one year of age. The Panel Coordinator brings to full review a representative sample of these cases which are de-identified summaries abstracted from medical and social service records with community data and voluntary family interviews incorporated.

After a family experiences the tragic loss of a pregnant person or infant, they can tell their story to a trained family interviewer and have a de-identified voice in the review panel process. If this is you or someone you know, a letter may be received by mail no sooner than 4 months after the loved one’s death asking them to participate in this process and offering services to help cope with the loss. Those cases where there might be a lawsuit or where someone might be charged with a crime are not considered for review or for an interview.

Everyone has a role to play in helping to reduce maternal and infant mortality and stillbirth. Local leaders can help increase public awareness of the sad truth that these deaths happen and that more needs to be done to ensure that more birthdays are seen. Health care providers and administrators can provide clinical expertise and secure access to information. Local agencies can help develop and implement community plans based on recommendations from the reviews. Individual community members may be asked to serve on a committee or assist with implementation of a panel recommendation. And families with lived experience can provide useful insight into improving care services and access and help prevent future deaths.

Annual Report to the Legislature:

If you would like to get more involved in MFIMR, you can apply at Maternal, Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Panel Member Application. If you are interested in affiliate groups like the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and the Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PQC4ME), you can apply at Your Voice Matters Application.


Maryann Harakall
Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program Director
Division of Disease Prevention
207-557-2470 TTY: Call 711 (Maine Relay)
286 Water Street, Augusta, ME 04333-0011

Meghan Henshall
MFIMR Coordinator
207-287-5357 TTY: Call 711 (Maine Relay)
286 Water Street, Augusta, ME 04333-0011