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Learn, Act, Engage: Equity in Maternal Health

Last month during Black Maternal Health Week, we hosted a “Wait…What?!” discussion on racial disparities that impact Black pregnant and parenting folks.  Panelists included Dr. Dayna Campbell (American International College and the Women of Color Health Equity Collective), Marisa Pizii (community activist and Deputy Director for Civil Liberties and Public Policy), and Tonja Santos (certified nurse-midwife and educator for Baystate Health).  Panelists offered insight on how a combination of factors including racism, microaggressions, provider bias, institutional practices, gender discrimination, lack of access and knowledge of available medical providers, and not listening to the patient impact the delivery of care.  We wanted to provide more resources for community members, maternal caregivers, and providers who are interested in systemic change.


Women of Color Health Equity Collective offers a series of Cultural Humility Trainings with topics including Power, Privilege, and Prejudices and Institutional Accountability.  Created Providers who integrate Cultural Humility into their practice understand and honor a person’s identities.  Fostering co-learning, providers and clients/patients collaborate in identifying a health plan. To learn more about upcoming training, please sign up for their mailing list.

Published in the New York Times last year, the article, Protecting Your Birth: A Guide for Black Mothers offers ways for medical providers to address their own biases along with ways for patients and their advocates to bring attention to discrimination.


Rep. Liz Miranda of Boston introduced a bill that makes doula-provided services covered by Medicaid.  Doulas are birth coaches and trained companions who support individuals through childbirth and infant loss.  Not all insurances cover the cost of working with a Doula, making their services inaccessible to many people and families.  Co-signed by Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton, this bill seeks to make doulas available to all as most insurances do not cover their services.  To follow this bill, please visit

Rep. Kay Khan of the 11th Middlesex District introduced a bill to ensure that insurers pay nurse-midwives, who are advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in reproductive health and childbirth, the same as physicians for similar services.  This bill aims to make reimbursement equitable allowing for nurse-midwives to expand their services to communities who typically do not have access to their services.  To follow this bill, please visit

Learn about legislative actions taken across the country by visiting


A new state commission was formed earlier this year to bring together those from obstetrics and gynecology, forensic pathology, nurse-midwifery, maternal-fetal medicine, academia, anesthesiology, nursing, psychiatry, mental/behavioral health, and public health who are interested in addressing birth disparities.

To learn more about this committee and/or to apply to join, please visit

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