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Westchester County pledges continued support for maternal child health equity program

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Westchester County, under the leadership of Executive George Latimer, is doubling down on its commitment to improving maternal and child health outcomes by extending its pioneering Black Maternal Child Health Initiative through 2025.

Launched in collaboration with the Department of Health and the Office for Women, this initiative aims to tackle racial healthcare disparities and foster enduring partnerships with local communities.

Since its inception, the initiative has made significant strides in addressing inherent maternal health inequities across the county.

Through robust research, analysis, and the development of long-term care solutions, tangible improvements have been observed across racial and socioeconomic lines.

Executive Latimer emphasized the program’s three-pronged approach, highlighting its focus on strengthening research, analysis, and long-term care solutions.

Cheryl Brannan, the Founder of Sister to Sister International, expressed gratitude for the continued support from Executive Latimer and the County’s Department of Health.

She emphasized the impact of the funding allocation, noting its role in further enhancing the initiative’s success. Brannan highlighted the program’s positive outcomes for expectant mothers and underscored the importance of sustained funding for community partners to drive progress.

The Black Maternal Child Health Initiative operates through partnerships with key organizations such as Birth From The Earth, the Children’s Health Research Foundation/Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network, and St. John’s Riverside Hospital.

Each partner plays a crucial role in delivering comprehensive support to birthing individuals and their families.

Birth From The Earth: This component focuses on providing holistic, culturally competent care to Black and indigenous birthing individuals and their families.

Programs include prenatal/birthing consultations, group sessions, and post-partum support groups. Notable successes include a substantial increase in birth worker trainings and families served.

Children’s Health Research Foundation/Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network:

With a focus on home-visiting and breastfeeding support, this segment targets birthing individuals residing in areas with significant health disparities. The “Baby Café” initiative and home visiting programs have garnered considerable participation and positive feedback.

St. John’s Riverside Hospital:

This partnership aims to enhance the hospital’s capacity to address health equity initiatives within its Maternity Department. Through data analytics, administrative support, and staff training on implicit bias, the hospital is striving to achieve more equitable birth outcomes. Noteworthy achievements include extensive staff training on implicit bias and the implementation of internal evaluation metrics.

In extending the Black Maternal Child Health Initiative through 2025, Westchester County reaffirms its commitment to fostering health equity and improving outcomes for all residents. The continued collaboration between government agencies, community organizations, and healthcare providers sets a precedent for effective, sustainable solutions to address systemic healthcare disparities.

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