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Saving Our Moms: Organizational Strategies to improve Maternal Health Outcomes, hosted by NAHSE Greater Boston Chapter
April 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Recent data show that U.S. maternal mortality rates are rising, and Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native people giving birth are two to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than their white counterparts. Emerging data also indicate that implications of the COVID-19 pandemic may further exacerbate these disparities. With that being said, the NAHSE Greater Boston Chapter has implemented an “immediate call to action” since its inception in 2020 to discuss the ongoing disparities in Maternal Health Outcomes, and how we could begin reshaping the Maternal Health care delivery model to improve birth outcomes.
- Learn organizational strategies to strengthen healthcare leadership and workforce structures
- Gain knowledge and skills to deal effectively with cultural differences to improve maternal health outcomes
- Gain an understanding of barriers among patients, providers, and the U.S. health care system in relation to racial/ethnic disparities in health care and quality of care
- Learn evidence-based best practices to conceptualize cultural competence and culturally appropriate care
Shafia Monroe, DEM, CDT, MPH
Shafia Monroe is a renowned midwife, doula trainer, Master of Public Health, motivational speaker, and writer. She began studying midwifery as a teenager after learning about the high infant mortality rate in her city. Though born in Boston, Massachusetts, she recognizes her Alabama roots and practices traditional African American healing, using the laying on of hands and herbs for pregnant and postpartum families. She was called to midwifery at age 15, when she learned about infant mortality and the granny midwives of the 20th century. Monroe is the keeper of African American birth traditions and postpartum rituals. She has spent over three decades studying the life of the 20th -century African American midwife and traveled internationally, interviewing, and shadowing midwives to learn their cultural rituals firsthand.
Under Monroe’s leadership, ICTC increased the number of doulas of color, Black midwives, diversified the midwifery workforce, and challenged systemic racism within the profession. From 2002 to 2015, she directed the International Black Midwives and Healers Conference and recruited Erykah Badu, four-time Grammy award-winner, singer, songwriter, and holistic healer, to become the ICTC International Spokesperson from 2010 to 2015. Monroe also led the Oregon Coalition to Improve Birth Outcomes (OCIBO) in 2011, investigating the use of doulas to improve birth outcomes and creating the legislative concept HB3311. This work resulted in Medicaid reimbursement for Oregon doulas, with Oregon leading the national model by being the first state to cover doula services for Medicaid families. In 2002, Monroe developed a groundbreaking doula-training program as an international model for reducing infant mortality, increasing the number of doulas of color, empowering families for informed consent and physiological birth, and teaching traditional birth and postpartum practices using the legacy of the 20th -century African American midwife, the SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companion Training, LLC. She created Shafia Monroe Consulting/Birthing CHANGE in 2013, to train health care providers and doulas in cultural competency for working with diverse population in maternal and child health and improve perinatal outcomes.
Monroe proudly serves as an advisory member of the Oregon Health Authority Office of Equity and Inclusion’s Cultural Competence Continuing Education Advisory Committee, Oregon Islamic Chaplain Organization, the Oregon Community Doula Association, Alabama Birth Equity Committee, Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Black Mothers ACTT for Safe Care Initiative, and a board member of the National Accreditation Council for Black Doula Trainers.