Eugene Declercq

Professor, Community Health Sciences

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Education:

Florida State University, PhD
Florida State University, MS
University of Massachusetts - Lowell, BS
University of Massachusetts - Amherst, MBA

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Gene Declercq combines formal training in political science with almost twenty years of experience as a certified childbirth educator to examine policy and practice related to childbirth in the US and abroad. His recent work in examining cesarean sections in the US and overseas has focused on maternal and infant morbidity associated with low risk… Read more

Gene Declercq combines formal training in political science with almost twenty years of experience as a certified childbirth educator to examine policy and practice related to childbirth in the US and abroad. His recent work in examining cesarean sections in the US and overseas has focused on maternal and infant morbidity associated with low risk cesareans and with repeat cesareans as well as the programmatic and policy influences on practices related to childbirth practices. This research has been supported as part of his work as a Robert Wood Johnson-funded Health Policy Investigator and by grants from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

He has served as lead author of two national studies of women’s experiences in childbirth entitled Listening to Mothers. He was a technical advisor to the film documentary, The Business of Being Born and has been one of the organizers of a project that has developed a 30 minute version of that documentary that, along with support materials he developed with students, can be used in college classrooms. He was also a producer and presenter of “Birth by the Numbers,” a 20 minute video that examines outcomes associated with current US birth practices.

He is principal investigator on two NIH funded collaborative projects examining child and maternal outcomes associated with Assisted Reproductive Technologies (MOSART project) and is one of the founders of the Pregnancy to Early Life Longitudinal (PELL) data system that links vital statistics, hospital, and administrative data on almost 900,000 births in Massachusetts since 1998. He’s also been active in a variety of public health projects in his hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts, including a current effort to develop a free volunteer based clinic to serve those without access to care.

As an educator, he is a past president of the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health and has been a recipient of the Norman Scotch Award for outstanding teaching at BUSPH. He is currently the BUSPH Assistant Dean for DrPH Education and serves as chair of the DrPH Subcommittee of the Association of Schools of Public Health.

In the Media

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  • Ted Cruz Gets the Facts Wrong on C-Sections

    February 10, 2017

    The Daily Beast Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health “Let me give you some basic facts,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz began, his eyes twinkling at the healthcare truth bombs he was about to unload on his poor, unprepared colleague Bernie Sanders, during CNN’s Affordable Care Act debate last night. Expert quote: “Cruz has confused doing more with doing better.” […]

  • Maternal Mortality Rate in U.S. Rises, Defying Global Trend, Study Finds

    September 22, 2016

    New York Times Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health One of the biggest worldwide public health triumphs in recent years has been maternal mortality… Expert quote: “People may think this is happening because the U.S. has more minorities and poor people,” he said. “But even if you limit the analysis to whites, we would still rank […]

  • How are states meeting health care shortages for pregnant women?

    August 16, 2016

    PBS Newshour – The Rundown Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health Faced with a shortage of obstetricians and gynecologists and nurse midwives, several states are considering proposals that advocates say would improve health care for women… Expert quote: “The traditional model was that ob-gyns made this extraordinary commitment. I’ll be there for you, pre-natal, delivery and […]

  • Dying In Childbirth 2016: Maternal Death Rate In US Has Worsened Since 2000, Says New Study

    August 11, 2016

    Medical Daily Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health The maternal death rate in America is higher than we think and only getting worse, finds a new study published recently in Obstetrics & Gynecology… Expert quote: “The current maternal mortality rate places the United States far behind other industrialized nations. There is a need to redouble efforts to prevent […]

  • ‘A National Embarrassment’: Maternal Mortality Rate Rises In The U.S.

    August 11, 2016

    WBUR “CommonHealth” Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health If keeping moms alive while pregnant and in the weeks just after birth is a good barometer of health care in a country, the U.S. looks pretty bad… Expert quote: “Our rates are comparable to Iran, the Ukraine and Russia, not countries we generally want to compare […]

  • Even Before Pregnancy, Your Health Matters: Mom’s Obesity Linked To Higher Risk Of Baby’s Death

    March 18, 2016

    WBUR “CommonHealth” Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health You know how it goes: The moment the pregnancy test is positive, you give up alcohol, you cut out coffee, you try to make every bite count and limit your weight gain to healthy norms. You’re suddenly responsible for two… Expert quote: “Since this involves pre-pregnancy obesity […]

  • Midwives Handle 16 Percent Of Mass. Births, And There’s A Wide Range Among Hospitals

    March 3, 2016

    WBUR “CommonHealth” Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health Lauren Frick is waiting for the “crampy feeling” in her lower back that signaled the beginning of labor with her first two children… Expert quote: “The proportion of births attended by midwives is one of the manifestations of the culture the hospital has.” View full article

  • BU researchers find link between pre-pregnancy obesity and infant death

    January 23, 2016

    Boston Business Journal (subscription required) Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health Boston University researchers have found a strong link between infant mortality and pre-pregnancy obesity, saying that physicians need to encourage patients looking to get pregnant to first be within certain weight ranges… Expert quote: “The findings suggest that primary care clinicians, OB-GYNs and midwives […]

  • Obesity Before Pregnancy Tied to Raised Risk of Newborn Death

    January 23, 2016

    HealthDay News Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health Infants whose mothers were obese before pregnancy appear to have an increased risk of death, according to a new study… Expert quote: “There is a need for more open, honest discussions about avoiding the possible risks of maternal obesity on infant health.” View full article

  • How safe are home births for mothers?

    January 18, 2016

    CNN.com By Eugene Declercq, School of Public Health Recent studies in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Canadian Medical Association Journal have examined the safety of home births. That they came to different conclusions isn’t as interesting as the fact that so much attention is being devoted to a phenomenon that accounts for […]

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