In March, MAC co-sponsored the Spring 2019 Health, Racism, and Communication Seminar Series with the Center for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health and the Tulane Prevention Research Center.
Social Entrepreneurship as a Strategy to Engage Communities and Improve Health Outcomes Seminar
Nicole Deggins, March 20, 2019
The first seminar, Social Entrepreneurship as a Strategy to Engage Communities and Improve Health Outcomes, was taught by Nicole Deggins, founder of Sista Midwives. Sista Midwives is an online tool that helps expectant black mothers connect with black midwives and doulas. Sista Midwives also raises awareness about the benefits of midwife/doula support to black mothers during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Ms. Deggins describes herself as a social entrepreneur, which she defines as “someone who brings a radically new solution, with the potential to revolutionize a whole new area and seeks social impact but does not use economic profit as a measure of success”. Ms. Deggins, a certified midwife, created Sista Midwives because she believes that increasing black mothers’ access to midwives and doulas can have a profound impact on the disparity in mortality rates between black and non-black mothers and infants.
Key to Advancing Health Equity in New Orleans: Communication Within and Without Seminar
Left to right, Dr. Maeve Wallace, and Dr. Danielle Broussard, March 21, 2019
The next seminar, Key to Advancing Health Equity in New Orleans: Communication Within and Without, was taught by MAC’s own research faculty member, Dr. Maeve Wallace and Dr. Danielle Broussard, a research consultant. Both Dr. Wallace and Dr. Broussard have research backgrounds focusing on maternal and child health and health equity. A goal of this seminar was to educate people on how societal health inequities affect an individual’s health. Their presentation defined health equity as “a fair and just distribution of the resources and opportunities needed to achieve health and well-being”. They stated that to achieve health equity, “we must remove obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination/racism, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care for all people.”
Communicating for Policy Change to Address Maternal and Child Health Inequities
Left to right, Kimberly Novod, Ashley Hill, and Dr. Clare Daniel, March 26, 2019
The last seminar, Communicating for Policy Change to Address Maternal and Child Health Inequities, was taught by Ashley Hill, a Certified Lactation Counselor and Holistic Doula, Kimberly Novod, founder of Saul’s light, and Dr. Clare Daniel, Administrative Assistant Professor of Women's Leadership at the Newcomb College Institute. These women represented the New Orleans Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Coalition, a group of individuals and community organizations dedicated to advocating for improved health services and health outcomes for women and children in New Orleans. The panelists discussed the history of the coalition, of which MAC was a key player in its creation. They also gave an overview of what the Coalition advocates for, such as an increased presence of doulas at births, improved access to midwifery care, continuity of care throughout and after pregnancy, and a maternal and child health epidemiologist for the city. The MCH Coalition also convenes to discuss how to improve communication about systemic racism, not race itself, and its role in health disparities.