The Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City partners met with the Community Fund partners for the first time in February, to discuss their collective work in promoting maternal health. The Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal) facilitated the meeting to provide a space and opportunity for the Pittsburgh-based organizations to share knowledge and updates on their work. The partners represent birthing organizations, many of which prioritize Black birthing people and their support systems across the Pittsburgh region.
Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City aims to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity rates across the city. Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City is part of Merck for Mothers' network of 20 Safer Childbirth Cities across the U.S. Safer Childbirth Cities grantees work to engage communities in maternal health improvements and address the social determinants of health, and work with doulas and perinatal support workers to bolster the care support system around women and families during pregnancy, childbirth, and the months after.
During the meeting, WHAMglobal Community Engagement and Policy Associate Morgan Overton, MSW provided a recap of the Safer Childbirth Cities project pillars, laying out four areas of project goals: workforce and training, community engagement, care delivery models, and local movement building. Overton also indicated the potential to align with, inform, and make recommendations for the work of the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative.
The partner organization representatives then provided project updates. Partner organizations include Healthy Start, Inc., Hello Neighbor, Allegheny County Health Department, as well as Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City Community Fund grantees Brown Mamas, Kangaroo Birthing, Elephant Song Doula Services, The Birthing Hut, and MAYA Organization.
A concluding discussion provided the opportunity for partners to raise areas of their projects that require collaboration and to identify project areas on which to partner and support one another. The Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City partners will continue to meet and collaborate on initiatives to serve and prioritize Black birthing people in the Pittsburgh area.