Westchester County Executive George Latimer is extending the County’s first ever maternal child health equity program through 2025. Together with the Department of Health and the Office for Women, the Black Maternal Child Health Initiative was developed with the goal of improving Black maternal and child health outcomes, reducing racial healthcare inequities, and creating lasting partnerships with key community partners. By securing additional funding through the end of 2025, the County is helping to ensure successful birthing practices for all in Westchester.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “The Black Maternal Child Health Initiative is a three-pronged approach to address inherent maternal health inequities across Westchester County. By strengthening our research and analysis, and developing long-term care solutions over the past year, we have already seen a positive impact across racial and socioeconomic divides. By continuing our funding through the end of 2025, we are ensuring these programs will remain a positive force for women and families in our communities.”

Founder of Sister to Sister International Cheryl Brannan said: “We appreciate our continued partnership with County Executive George Latimer, and the Westchester County Department of Health. The allocation of this funding and partnership through the end of 2025 means we can further build on the tremendous success of the Black Maternal Child Health Initiative. In just the past year, we have seen this program pay tremendous dividends in those who have participated, and improved outcomes for expectant mothers. Continued funding for our community partners will assist in moving our collective training, education, policy and systems change agenda forward.”  

The Black Maternal Child Health Initiative includes a partnership with Birth from the Earth, the Children’s Health Research Foundation/Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network, and St. John’s Riverside Hospital.

A summary of the components of this initiative include:

Birth From The Earth

  • The contract will increase Birth From The Earth’s capacity to activate and engage Black and indigenous birthing individuals and their families through education, training, inclusion, and holistic, culturally competent care.
  • Programs include prenatal/birthing consultations, group prenatal sessions, and post-partum support groups.
  • Successes include close to 90 birth workers attending trainings, and over 80 families served through the end of 2023.

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

  • The contract will expand home-visiting for birthing individuals in the prenatal and postpartum periods. Participants will reside in areas that have an annual average of 100 or more Medicaid births; social, environmental, biological and behavioral risk factors associated with adverse birth outcomes; and health disparities in prematurity and low birth weight rates.
  • Programs include home visiting and breastfeeding support through the “Baby Café” initiative.
  • Successes include over 91 Baby Café sessions. Pregnant and breastfeeding parents made 979 visits to Baby Cafes throughout year, and 51 families are enrolled in the monthly home visiting program.

St. John’s Riverside Hospital

  • The contract will increase St. John’s Riverside Hospital Maternity Department’s data analytics, administrative and programmatic capacity of their health equity initiatives. The Hospital will also provide implicit bias training for all maternity staff as well as 52 third and fourth year medical students.
  • Programs include internal evaluation metrics for tracking improvement in health equity, an internal data review to identify areas of improvement for more equitable birth outcomes, focus groups to gather qualitative data on experience of Black birthing outcomes, and staff bias trainings.
  • Successes include implicit bias training for over 150 hospital medical and administrative staff.