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ELEVATE Maternal Health Center of Excellence

Addressing Pregnancy Related Complications from Substance Use Disorder

The ELEVATE Center brings together a team of community and academic partners to address pregnancy related complications and death related to drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD). We do this by linking our partners’ expertise in these areas:

  • Obstetrics  
  • Addiction medicine  
  • Simulation training  
  • Experiential learning  
  • Bias and disparity reduction  
  • Community engagement  
  • Implementation science

Pregnancy Associated Death: Special Focus on Rural and Native Populations

Accidental drug overdose and suicide were the leading causes of deaths in pregnant women in Utah from 2015-2020. This accounts for nearly 40% of all deaths over that time period.  

Deaths from pregnancy complications and substance use disorders affect at-risk populations more so than others. These at-risk populations include those in rural settings and those who identify as American Indian and Alaska Native (Native mothers).  

ELEVATE aims to investigate and identify contributors to maternal morbidity and mortality from SUD. We will focus in particular on rural and Native populations.

About Us

ELEVATE is named to encompass our mission. Our mission is to:

Expand our reach across Utah and the Mountain West,  

LEVerage existing infrastructure,  

And Treat pregnant and postpartum people with SUD who experience disparities to achieve Equity.

The center includes two research projects that are supported by both internal and external implementation support. The two research projects are the CEREMONY project and the INSPIRE project. In addition, the center includes a Community Engagement Core and a Training Core. A primary goal of ELEVATE is to develop products that can be scaled up and used widely. 

ELEVATE is one of 10 Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence across the country that are part of the National Institutes for Health IMPROVE initiative: Implementing a Maternal health and PRegnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone. The IMPROVE Initiative aims to improve outcomes and equity in maternal health. To learn more, visit the IMPROVE Maternal Health Hub.


Our Mission: Reduce Pregnancy Associated Death from Substance Use

The ELEVATE Center aims to reduce maternal morbidity from substance use in Utah through both research and community engagement. We will do this while training the next generation of scientists focused on morbidity reduction.  

Ultimately our goal is to expand our program across the nation. We want to address a leading cause of pregnancy-associated death in the U.S.

Recent News

Upcoming Events

April 17, 2024

Brown Bag Learning Lunch

In conjunction with the Substance Use in Pregnancy Recovery Addiction Dependence (SUPeRAD) clinic, the new ...

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April 19, 2024

ELEVATE Center Community Advisory Board Meeting

The bi-annual ELEVATE Center Community Advisory Board meeting brings together the University of Utah ELEVATE ...

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May 15, 2024

Brown Bag Learning Lunch

In conjunction with the Substance Use in Pregnancy Recovery Addiction Dependence (SUPeRAD) clinic, the new ...

Learn More