Chester County Roundtable Spotlights Disparities in Black Maternal and Infant Care

Pregnant woman at doctor's office© FatCamera from Getty Images Signature / Canva

CHESTER COUNTY, PA — A groundbreaking roundtable discussion on eliminating disparities in Black maternal and infant care was held at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania’s Womxn’s Center last week. The event was organized by the advocates of Black Women of Chester County in Action, in collaboration with Lincoln University’s Womxn’s Center.

The conversation marked a significant milestone for Chester County, as key stakeholders came together to discuss actionable steps towards achieving equity in maternal and infant health. The speakers shared their professional research and personal experiences, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by Black mothers and infants in healthcare.

Among them were Dr. Patricia A. Joseph, Ph.D., Provost of Lincoln University; Talonda Rogers, MSN, RN of 4th Trimester Mahmee; Jenne Johns, MPH, of Once Upon a Preemie, Inc.; Samantha Collins, MPH, Manager of Healthy Start, Maternal Child Health Consortium; and Melissa A. Herd, Acting Regional Director & Executive Officer, Region III of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).

The roundtable also included representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr., U.S. Representative Chrissy Houlahan, and Pennsylvania State Senator Carolyn Comitta. These officials, along with concerned members of the public, engaged in a crucial discussion centered around the elimination of racial disparities in maternal and infant health within Chester County.

Tasha Isaac, MHS, of Representative Houlahan’s office, highlighted the importance of legislative action in addressing these disparities. She pointed to the H.R. 959 Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which directs federal multi-agency efforts to improve maternal health among racial and ethnic minority groups, veterans, and other vulnerable populations.

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The event builds upon the insights gleaned from a successful Black maternal and infant health conference held at Chester County Hospital in late September. While the roundtable has concluded, its impact continues to resonate as a catalyst for ongoing collaboration.

The discussions fostered at this event highlight the importance of collaboration and legislative action in addressing health disparities. The insights shared by the speakers and the commitment demonstrated by the attendees point towards a promising shift towards equitable maternal and infant care in Chester County.

This roundtable serves as a reminder that the fight for health equity is far from over. It calls on all stakeholders – from healthcare providers and policymakers to community members – to work together towards the shared goal of eliminating disparities in maternal and infant care. The conversation started here is an important step towards creating a future where every mother and child, regardless of their race or background, receives quality care.

The Fund’s Blueprint Report stands as the sole comprehensive needs assessment of women and girls in Chester County. Issued every five years, this report sheds light on critical challenges encountered by women and girls at local, state, and national scales, offering an in-depth analysis of conditions specific to Chester County. For further details, please visit The Fund’s official website.

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