The goal of the Women’s Health Activist Movement (WHAMglobal) is to empower women to advocate for their own health and that of others. Women are the healthcare decision makers for families, and they comprise most of the healthcare workforce. They understand what is needed and bring unique voices that champion safe, compassionate, and equitable care. WHAMglobal advocates have the power to transform and create a healthcare system by women and for everyone that better serves patients, families, and the workforce.
WHAMglobal is focused on learning global best practices in maternity care and identifying partners from the Pittsburgh region, other states, and other countries. Through advocacy and network-building, WHAMglobal aims to showcase what is working and change the things that are not working.
A Comprehensive Approach to Pregnancy and Postpartum Care
WHAMglobal’s current initiatives contextualize and implement globally informed learning to transform perinatal care across Pennsylvania.
In 2019, WHAMglobal launched the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC), which spreads best practices for behavioral health risk assessments and follow-up and treatment protocols across 61 birth sites and NICUs in Pennsylvania. Visit the PA PQC homepage here.
To further advance equitable perinatal care for Pennsylvanians, WHAMglobal convened a statewide Doula and Perinatal Community Health Worker Advisory Group of over 100 members, whose efforts led to the creation of the PA Doula Commission in 2021. The Commission will promote equitable access to doula services through workforce development for the doula profession while facilitating childbirth with dignity, improving perinatal health outcomes, and eliminating barriers by reducing healthcare disparities.
WHAMglobal addresses the issues of maternal and family nutrition, food security, and care integration by advocating for innovations for the Pennsylvania WIC Program. Since 2019, WHAMglobal has convened a multi-disciplinary group of stakeholders to advance the WIC Program, published a white paper identifying key improvement opportunities, and organized a statewide WIC Program Summit to promote best practices and inspire change. WHAMglobal is building on the momentum of the Statewide WIC Stakeholders’ Collaborative to form and facilitate a WIC champions program to support efforts to develop a roadmap for building strategic working relationships between regional WIC stakeholders, WIC agencies, and partners to streamline client outreach, referrals, enrollment, and retention efforts.
Focused on Allegheny County, the Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City Initiative invests in and supports Black women-led organizations to address Pittsburgh’s maternal and infant health disparities for Black women and babies. WHAMglobal manages a Learning Collaborative of the Pittsburgh Safer Childbirth City grantees and provides coaching support.
The Perinatal Health Equity Champions Program is designed to build workforce capacity to help address racial disparities and improve maternal health care in the Pittsburgh region. This year-long program provides the opportunity to bring together community and hospital-based birth workers for maternal care quality improvement initiatives to address racial disparities and improve maternal care outcomes. The program is part of the Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City initiative and is facilitated by WHAMglobal and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.
WHAMglobal is continuing its global partnerships with the International Women’s Forum and its Health Special Interest Group, which will continue to focus on women’s health around the world. Through those relationships, WHAMglobal will be focused on addressing women’s health concerns that extend beyond maternal mortality.
Nationally, WHAMglobal collaborates with Women of Impact to help connect women leaders from across health sectors and build leadership for the present and future. In working with allies and stakeholders across the county, Commonwealth, nation, and world, WHAMglobal is excited about the momentum and opportunities for maternal healthcare reform and improving women’s health.