204206 Providing Education Through Advocacy & Learning Strategies: Empowering African-American women from preconception through postpartum care

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 10:35 AM

Nirva Vital, MPH , Black Infant Mortality Reduction Resource Center -Northern New Jersey Maternal/ Child Health Consortium, Paramus, NJ
Kweli R. Walker, MPH , Black Infant Mortality Reduction Resource Center - Northern New Jersey Maternal/Child Health Consortium, Paramus, NJ
Statistics have shown that regardless of socio-economic indicators, Black infants are two times more likely to die in the first year of life than their White counterparts. With funding support from the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services, the Black Infant Mortality Reduction Resource Center of the Northern New Jersey Maternal/Child Health Consortium developed a new initiative PETALS, “Providing Education Through Advocacy & Learning Strategies.” The PETALS program was created to inform African American women of all social and economic backgrounds about the importance of improving birth outcomes.

A multi-faceted strategy was established to reach women of African descent through: the creation of the PETALS website, an online comprehensive directory of regional health and social services and presentations to various professional and civic organizations. Cultural competency trainings were hosted for clinicians that focused on racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal health. In addition, four thousand (4,000) culturally-appropriate educational packets were developed and will be disseminated throughout hospitals, federally-qualified health centers, and community-based health organizations. Preconception/interconception, prenatal, and postpartum periods are covered within the packets. Each packet also includes a survey tool that will determine the utility of the packet and measure any increase in patient/client knowledge.

Overall, the PETALS program has reached over 3500 women and has the capacity to reach 7500 women of child-bearing age. This approach has been very effective in raising awareness about peculiar findings related to infant mortality prevention among African Americans, and the need to further understand why racial/ethnic disparities persist.

Learning Objectives:
Describe and address issues that impact Black Women’s reproductive health. Identify national and state trends in racial/ethnic disparities in birth outcomes. Discuss methodology of developing culturally sensitive material for African-American women of child-bearing age. Analyze and report impact of educational initiatives within the target population.

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Educational background includes a Bachelor in biology and Master in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology. At the Black Infant Mortality Reduction Resource Center I am responsible for; managing activities, and implementing program strategies related to the BIMRR Center; attending and facilitating health fairs and community events to promote the BIMRR Center’s initiatives; maintaining webpage and updating content on the BIMRR Center’s website; assisting with coordinating activities for sponsored events and attending meetings on behalf of the BIMRR Center and NNJM/ CHC; conducting monthly literature searches on Black infant mortality to remain knowledgeable in the topic area and maintaining BIMRR Center library; and supporting all BIMRR Center related activities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.