Cleveland, OH,
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MetroHealth Hosts Free Screening of Acclaimed Documentary Exploring Infant Mortality Crisis

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The MetroHealth System and CHC: Creating Healthier Communities are sponsoring a free screening of the acclaimed documentary “Aftershock” to raise awareness about the maternal and infant mortality crisis devastating Cuyahoga County and other communities across the nation.

The screening will take place on Monday, March 20, at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland (300 Lakeside Ave.). Doors open at 4:30 p.m.; the screening will start at 5:50 p.m., followed by a panel discussion that explores the national and local impact of the Black maternal mortality crisis.

Registration information is available here.

“Aftershock” is a Hulu Original Documentary that follows the journeys of two families in New York City after the deaths of two young women, Shamony Gibson and Amber Isaac, due to childbirth complications. It explores how the families have galvanized an activism movement to address this devastating crisis.

National health statistics show that Black women are three times more likely than others to die from pregnancy-related causes. Cuyahoga County has one of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the country for Black women and babies, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

“Research confirms that most of these deaths are preventable,” said MetroHealth President & CEO Airica Steed, Ed.D, RN, MBA, FACHE. “And, as the first Black female CEO of MetroHealth, my goal is to prevent them all. No one’s life should ever be put at risk or cut short because of the color of their skin or where they live. We must confront the structural injustices and centuries of mistreatment that have cost far too many lives. It is my personal goal to a give a voice to the voiceless and ensure they are empowered to advocate for their own health needs.”

Dr. Steed’s own life was at risk with preeclampsia, which affects Black women more often, during two of her pregnancies. Both resulted in premature births.

“MetroHealth and our partners are working with urgency to eradicate health disparities and zero out the death gap in Cuyahoga County,” Dr. Steed says. “I am confident this work will serve as a guide for other communities across the state and nation.”

Courtney Gousman, evening anchor at WEWS-ABC, will moderate the panel discussion following the film screening. Panelists include:

  • Heather Rice, PhD, APRN-CNP, PMHS, assistant professor in the School of Nursing at Cleveland State University
  • Da’na Langford, CNM, Co-Founder, CEO and Medical Director at the Village of Healing Center in Euclid
  • Myla Flores, a New York City-based doula, childbirth educator​ and ​lactation counselor who appears in the film
  • Shawnee Benton Gibson, Omari Maynard, and Bruce McIntyre – family members of Shamony and Amber, and Black maternal health activists who also appear in the film

Following the panel discussion, audience members will be invited to join one of three breakout rooms with the opportunity to take part in meditation, movement and other healing practices.

“Aftershock” premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Award for Impact for Change. It was also nominated for the Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival and a Critics Choice Documentary Award for Best Feature. The film was co-directed and co-produced by Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee.

MetroHealth is proud to welcome the following local organizations as event partners: Birthing Beautiful Communities; Pregnant with Possibilities Resource Center; Saint Luke’s Foundation; and the Village of Healing Center.

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About The MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit