First Year Cleveland

First Year Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building
11000 Cedar Avenue - 4th Floor Cleveland, OH 44106

Phone 216-368-4837
Home About Us FYC Action Teams Reducing Racial Disparities

FYC Action Teams

Priority Area: Reducing Racial Disparities

(Learn more about what we're doing in this priority area)

GOAL: Reduce Cuyahoga County's 2017 infant death disparity rate of 7.2 by 50 percent by the end of 2020 and to zero by 2025.

Action Team 1: Address structural racism through workplace bias training.

GOAL: Launch and execute an awareness and employee training campaign to address bias in the health care workplace that may negatively affect maternal and child health outcomes. 

Recent Accomplishments: By the end of 2019 and through support from the Ohio Department of Medicaid, 100 CenteringPregnancy staff members will receive “Everyday Bias for Healthcare Professionals” training, a Cook Ross curriculum addressing unconscious bias in the workplace.  Focus groups have been conducted to learn from the experiences of African American, Latinx, and Caucasian women as they navigated maternal and child care in three health care systems.  

Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, MEd, MPPM, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
Dr. Marilyn Mobley, Case Western Reserve University

Action Team 2: Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Initiative.

GOAL: Gain insight from African American families that have experienced a loss and develop programming and policy solutions to address issue areas.

Recent Accomplishments: Grief recovery sessions, remembrance events and community wellness activities have engaged African American parents and extended family that have experienced the loss of an infant. Their mutual support will be formalized to launch a Black Infant Loss Society. An African American led Grief Recovery Institute is also being planned, as well as identifying culturally appropriate mental health services and providers. A Pregnancy and Infant Loss website has been created and the team will be releasing a short film in September 2019, highlighting the experience of chronic stress and microaggressions on African Americans. The film will be used to educate health care providers. 

Tracy Carter, The MetroHealth System
Sabrina Roberts, Cuyahoga County Health & Human Services 

Action Team 3: Conduct research on race, stress and maternal health.

GOAL: Lead research efforts to better understand the roles race and maternal stress play in infant deaths. 

Recent Accomplishments: Expectant African American mothers have participated in a weekly cognitive-behavioral, psychoeducational Sister Circle. In these groups, women receive culturally relevant programming, education and advocacy designed to reduce race-related risk factors for low-birth weight and pre-term infants. Participants are followed for one year and contacted quarterly.

Christin Farmer, Birthing Beautiful Communities
Angela Neal Barnett, Kent State University

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