Cherished Futures for Black Moms & Babies, a program of HASC’s Communities Lifting Communities community health initiative, has launched a dedicated newsletter. Called The Heart of the Matter, the publication will regularly update readers on Cherished Futures’ work, news, and related issues.
Email CLC Executive Director Susan Harrington (below) to be added to the newsletter’s mailing list.
The newsletter’s first issue includes the following updates.
A recent Boston Review article notes that “colorblindness,” a term used to explain one’s efforts to not see/differentiate differences in race or ethnicity, has been ineffective in addressing persistent racial inequities in both health care and society at large. One study at a large health care organization found that when white employees accept “colorblindness,” staff of color are more likely to believe that the organizational climate is racially biased. That’s why Cherished Futures promotes the collection, review, and communication of race and ethnicity data.
All Cherished Futures hospital teams are actively reviewing various clinical indicators by race and ethnicity to identify where gaps exist.
Black moms experience hypertension (HTN) with preeclampsia in a significantly higher proportion than other groups — which can lead to preterm labor and/or early C-section. Researchers point to the multi-generational impacts of structural racism as a root cause of these elevated risks. All Cherished Futures hospital teams are developing and implementing improvement opportunities in this area, including addressing aspirin (ASA) protocols for the management of hypertension (HTN).
Research shows that implicit bias can damage provider-patient relationships; however, research also shows that when we create common alliances and shared goals, we can transform our institutions. Acknowledging bias and countering that bias with purposeful action is an important first step in creating broader institutional change.
All three hospital teams are providing online and in-person education to advance the dialogue and understand how their words and actions can negatively affect the quality of care for Black birthing families.
Cherished Futures Community Advisors are supporting hospital teams on the journey to better care for Black patients. Our Community Advisor Collective are Black women community leaders, researchers and clinicians whose knowledge and lived experience guide and informs hospitals’ community connection strategies.
Before deciding the best ways to interact with the community, our community advisors and Cherished Futures team recommend first asking a few key questions:
- What do you know about your Black patient population?
- What neighborhoods do your Black patients come from, and what do you know about the neighborhoods?
- How do you communicate to your Black patients so that they will receive excellent, respectful, unbiased care when they enter your doors?
We invite you to reflect on these questions and share your thoughts with us by responding to this item via email (see Susan Harrington’s contact information below).
With questions on Communities Lifting Communities or Cherished Futures, please contact CLC Executive Director Susan Harrington.