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Addressing Data Equity in Black Maternal Health: A Call to Action

Policy Pulse

During the recent NMQF Leadership Summit, the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) highlighted its involvement with the Data Equity Coalition on the release of the collaborative policy brief, “Centering Data Equity in the Black Maternal Health Crisis is a Public Health Imperative.” This initiative, a product of the collective efforts of five organizations within the Coalition, underscores the urgent need for comprehensive data to guide public health policies and interventions effectively.

Authored by Ifeoma C. Udoh, PhD, Executive VP: Policy, Advocacy, and Science, BWHI, and Linda Goler Blount, MPH, President of BWHI, the brief dives into the stark disparities in maternal health outcomes, particularly among Black women. It examines how systemic racism and historical biases within the healthcare system have exacerbated the U.S.’s alarmingly high rates of maternal mortality compared to other developed countries. The brief emphasizes the need for comprehensive data that encompasses the nuances of race, ethnicity, and gender identity to guide public health policy and intervention strategies effectively. It also calls for updates to federal data collection directives to better capture and address the needs of diverse communities, particularly Black women who have been historically marginalized in healthcare settings.

Highlights from the brief include the importance of:

  • Establishing clear standards for the collection of race, ethnicity, and language (REL) data along with sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
  • Integrating modern health equity frameworks into federal data collection standards to ensure comprehensive and representative data.
  • Advocating for systemic health policy changes that address the underlying causes of maternal health disparities.

BWHI is steadfast in its commitment to using data as a tool for advocacy and change, aiming to transform the health landscape for Black women nationwide. For more insights from this pivotal work VIEW THE BRIEF HERE

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