Local Physician To Speak at Prestigious Mayo Clinic about Maternal Health

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Ascension Saint Thomas is pleased to recognize Dr. Connie Graves, Director of Perinatal Services and Co-Director of Collaborative Perinatal Services for the health system, in advance of her May 17 presentation at the prestigious Mayo Clinic.

Invitations to present at the Mayo Clinic are reserved for the highest-regarded members of the healthcare community. Based in Rochester, Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical center founded in 1864. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the Mayo Clinic as one of the nation's premier hospitals.

"We are incredibly proud that Dr. Graves is a part of the Ascension Saint Thomas family," said Kristen Toth, Vice President of Women's and Children's Services, Ascension Saint Thomas. "Her work in the space of maternal health is ground-breaking and will make a difference for mothers and children everywhere."

At Mayo, Dr. Graves will discuss the alarming fact that rates of maternal morbidity and mortality are three times higher in the United States than in any other developed nation. For our nation's women of color, giving birth is just as dangerous as it is in any third-world country.

"Maternal mortality and infant mortality are not separate," said Dr. Connie Graves, Director of Perinatal Services and Co-Director of the Collaborative Perinatal Cardiac Center for Ascension Saint Thomas Health. "The health and well-being of America's children depends upon the health and well-being of our mothers."

Dr. Graves co-founded the Collaborative Perinatal Cardiac Center in 2012. A joint venture between Tennessee Maternal Fetal Medicine and Ascension Saint Thomas, this ground-breaking clinic was one of the first in the United States to approach maternal heart care holistically from preconception to postpartum.

Upon graduating with honors from Baylor University, Dr. Graves obtained her medical degree at the University of Arkansas. There, she received the Purdue Fredrick Award for Excellence in Women's Healthcare. She completed her internship, residency, and Maternal-Fetal Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. During her fellowship, she received additional training in Critical Care.

Dr. Graves is the Medical Director of Tennessee Maternal Fetal Medicine. She is a professor at the University of Tennessee and teaches at Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College. Highly committed to research, Dr. Graves has participated in studies related to asthma, HIV, diabetes, and drug addiction in pregnancy.

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