Grants aim to connect more Georgians to lifesaving maternity care and education
Kaiser Permanente is granting nearly $200,000 to community organizations to help improve maternal and infant health in Georgia. The funding will help enhance prenatal and postnatal care, reduce the rate of low birthweight births and infant mortality, and address disparities in maternal care.
The grants will support two Atlanta-based organizations serving women and families across the state.
Center for Black Women’s Wellness: $ 96,855
The Center for Black Women’s Wellness (CBWW) Doorways to Maternal Health project will work to improve outcomes among Black women and birthing persons in Atlanta during the prenatal and postnatal period through education, training, linkages to doula services for childbirth support, and stronger coordination of health care services post-delivery.
Georgia Family Connection Partnership: $99,000
As part of its Promoting Women’s Health: Low Birthweight Prevention Cohort project, Georgia Family Connection Partnership will work with Butts, Lamar, Meriwether, Spalding, Fayette and Clayton Family Connection Collaboratives to expand and enhance community-based work to improve women’s health and reduce the rate of low birthweight births. The program has assisted counties in development, implementation, and evaluation of local strategies to improve women’s health and reduce LBW and infant mortality by addressing socioenvironmental factors of health.
According to the 2021 Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT report, Georgia ranks 47th in the nation in the rate of infants born LBW. During 2021 in Georgia, 13,148 babies were born LBW (less than 5.5 lbs.); 36 babies each day. Despite medical advances, the low birthweight rate for Georgia newborns has risen over the past 19 years from 9% in 2002 to 10.6 in 2021.
“Proper maternal and infant care should be accessible to all Georgians,” said Charmaine Ward-Millner, vice president of marketing, communications, and community relations for Kaiser Permanente’s Georgia market. “With education, training, and equitable access to care, we can diminish the threat of death before, during, or soon after childbirth. We can save lives.”
Women in the United States are much more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth that cause injury or death than in other developed countries. Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Maternal deaths are commonly linked with a lack of access to health care and care disparities caused by racial bias or poverty.
“Doulas offer a unique form of perinatal service by providing support throughout labor to delivering mothers and their families,” explained Jemea Dorsey, CEO of the Center for Black Women’s Wellness. “Thanks to this investment from Kaiser Permanente, we will create equitable access to doula services, provide prenatal and postpartum education, and enhance care coordination to improve maternal health outcomes in Atlanta.”
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