Achieving health equity: Improving the maternal postpartum access and outcomes of Black/African American women in Travis County  (2019)

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Black women bear the burden of disparate postpartum health access, under-utilization and maternal health outcomes and die at death rates 2–4 times as often from pregnancy complications compared to white women. Research suggests that poor health, including poor maternal health can result from social determinants of health, such as poverty, institutional racism, inadequate health care infrastructure, high costs, and lack of insurance intimating a cumulative impact on Black women’s bodies before, during, and after pregnancy.  This particular project will provide valuable insight into the implementation and reach of a community participatory driven multi-tiered intervention that seeks to improve maternal health disparities.

The Steve Hicks School of Social Work takes a transdisciplinary approach and community based participatory approach to achieving health equity and improving the maternal postpartum access and outcomes of Black women in Travis County.

Time to Show Up for Black Mother is a response to the crisis of black maternal health in Travis County, a local collective of researchers, social workers, policy makers, public health professionals and community activists – consisting primarily of Black women that have survived their own pregnancy and child birthing trauma – are working collaboratively with Black mothers and our surrounding communities to improve these outcomes. The collaborative team is taking a holistic approach to improving access and outcomes, from unpacking the systematic, groundwater analysis of institutional racism in our healthcare system, cultivating a pipeline of Black healthcare professionals, to Afrocentric home visits and Sister Circles for Black mothers and cultivating a multi-sector equity oriented strategic planning and action plan related to health, community, policy and organization to interrupt maternal health disparities.