A Prematurity Collaborative Birth Equity Consensus Statement for Mothers and Babies.
In 2016, March of Dimes (MOD) launched its Prematurity Collaborative to engage a broad cross section of national experts to address persistent and widening racial disparities in preterm birth by achieving equity and demonstrated improvements in preterm birth. African-American and Native American women continue to have disproportionate rates of preterm birth and maternal death. As part of the Collaborative, MOD created the Health Equity Workgroup whose task was the creation of a scientific consensus statement articulating core values and a call to action to achieve equity in preterm birth utilizing health equity and social determinants of health frameworks.
Health Equity Workgroup members engaged in-person and virtually to discuss key determinant contributors and resolutions for disparate maternal and birth outcomes. Workgroup members then drafted the Birth Equity Consensus Statement that contained value statements and a call to action. The birth equity consensus statement was presented at professional conferences to seek broader support. This article highlights the background and context towards arriving at the core values and call to action, which are the two major components of the consensus statement and presents the core values and call to action themselves.
The result was the creation of a birth equity consensus statement that highlights risks and protections of social determinants based on the prevailing science, and identifies promising solutions for reducing preterm birth and eliminating racial disparities.
The birth equity consensus statement provides a mandate, guiding the work of March of Dimes and the broader MCH community, for equity-based research, practice, and policy advocacy at local, state, and federal levels.
This field report adds to the current knowledge base on racial and ethnic disparities in birth and maternal health outcomes. Research has documented the science behind eliminating health disparities. Scientists and practitioners should continue to explore in practice how the social determinants of birth and maternal health, which manifest historically and contemporarily, can be addressed.
Jackson, FM; Rashied-Henry, K; Braveman, P; Dominguez, TP; Ramos, D; Maseru, N; Darity, W; Waddell, L; Warne, D; Legaz, G; Gupta, R; James, A
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