The Dane County Health Council and the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness will host a news conference Friday, July 12 at 8:30 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 5701 Raymond Road on Madison’s west side to outline next steps after releasing their report: “Saving our Babies: Low Birthweight Engagement” back in April.
“Now we turn to the work of changing the outcomes in our community,” said Lisa-Peyton Caire, founder and president of the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, in a statement. “Together we will build a Dane County where Black infants are born healthy and do not experience disparities with low birthweight.”
The report found that black women and men in Dane County identify persistent, unchanging racial and economic inequity as key drivers of the disparity in infant birthweights and birth outcomes in the county.
Discussion items will include:
◉ Community investments such as expanding the pool and presence of African-American doulas and community health workers;
◉ Development of a Black Maternal Health Alliance; and
◉ Neighborhood-based action teams and education.
Babies born to African-American mothers in Dane County are two times more likely than white infants to be born with low birth weights, according to a press release from UW Health, a fact which puts them at risk of significant health challenges and higher infant-mortality rates.
The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness and EQT by Design led a nine-month-long collective community engagement effort in partnership with the Health Council to identify sustainable solutions to low birthweight babies born to African-American mothers in Dane County.
Dane County Health Council is a coalition of health care providers, government and non-profits with a mission to eliminate gaps and barriers to optimal health and reduce disparities in health outcomes in Dane County.
Council members include: Access Community Health Centers, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, Madison Metropolitan School District, Public Health Madison & Dane County, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, United Way of Dane County, UnityPoint Health-Meriter, and UW Health.