Riverside County Empowers Black Mothers with Maternal Health Equity Campaign

In a bold endeavor to combat alarming maternal mortality rates among Black women, the Riverside University Health System – Public Health (RUHS-PH) has launched a groundbreaking maternal health equity campaign. Named “Rallying Around Sisters: Redefining & Strengthening the Village,” the initiative aims to address stark racial disparities in pregnancy-related outcomes by enhancing awareness and utilization of essential services.

Stephanie Bryant, Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Director for RUHS-PH, emphasizes the abundance of resources available in Riverside County to ensure healthy pregnancies and early child development. Bryant’s remarks underscore the urgency of leveling the playing field for Black mothers and infants, who face disproportionately high risks. According to RUHS-PH’s report, infants born to Black mothers are twice as likely to die within their first year compared to infants of other ethnicities.

Building upon the foundation laid by the Perinatal Equity Initiative and Black Infant Health program, the campaign collaborates with San Bernardino County to provide empowerment-centric group support and comprehensive life planning services. This initiative confronts the grim reality of Black women facing elevated risks of pregnancy-related mortality, irrespective of their educational or financial status.

“Rallying Around Sisters” transcends mere rhetoric—it embodies a holistic approach to addressing high-risk pregnancies. The HeRCARe (High-Risk Care Access and Resources) team leads the charge, leveraging expertise in maternal-fetal medicine and extending services through telehealth to residents in remote areas. By democratizing access to high-quality healthcare, RUHS demonstrates a proactive commitment to safeguarding the well-being of mothers and their infants across geographic divides.

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Through these platforms, RUHS-PH not only raises awareness but also fosters a sense of community support for its most vulnerable members—empowering Black mothers and infants, one step at a time.

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