NHRMC Receives Community Health Worker Doula Grant

July 07, 2020

NHRMC was recently awarded a $175,000 3-year grant by the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services to fund a Community Health Worker-Doula Program.  The grant will provide education and maternal support to black women in NHRMC’s service area in an effort to address inequities in care continuity and racial disparities in pregnancy-related outcomes. The contract will be facilitated by Marissa Bryant, Health Equity Outreach Coordinator who is also lead of the Infant Mortality and Maternal Health Task Force, also known as First Year Cape Fear.

First Year Cape Fear is a community platform to represent the Infant Mortality and Maternal Health Task Force created by NHRMC's Health Equity department to address the racial disparity in the infant mortality rates in our community. The task force represents community partners across New Hanover, Pender and Columbus County. The purpose of First Year Cape Fear is to mobilize a multidisciplinary network of regional stakeholders to develop a strategy for decreasing the incidence and prevalence of African American infant deaths by improving maternal health outcomes.

Together, the team will work to identify root causes, risk factors, and strategies for improving the health of expectant mothers to minimize risks during current and subsequent pregnancies. 

First Year Cape Fear Will Serve To:

  • Raise awareness of the racial disparity in infant mortality rates 
  • Share community initiatives that address the disparity 
  • Connect individuals and community organizations dedicated to maternal health, infant health and racial equity. 
  • Facilitate research to understand the health and experiences of Black families to better inform community practices 
    • Educate families, practitioners, and institutions on strategies aimed at mitigating maternal and infant health disparities.