Birth Equity Community Council Spotlight
Birth Equity Community Council Interview with BECC members:
Tamiko Ralston and Amy Lytton
March 15, 2021
How was BECC founded?
BECC, also known as Birth Equity Community Council, was founded in 2017 when a proposal and training program was implemented by CityMatCH and its birth equity cohort. Saint Paul-Ramsey County participated in the 3rd Birth Equity Institute cohort which included national TA support from CityMatCH and active local community and stakeholder engagement. BECC places a special emphasis on the integration of both qualitative and quantitative data. BECC’s main mission is to look for periods of risk associated with perinatal care and inform the community on areas with the greatest opportunities of impact.
What changes did BECC have to implement to adapt to Covid-19?
BECC’s main initiatives during the pandemic have been to continue connecting with individuals and community partners to share resources and support as communities adjust to the COVID-19 situation. Although the innovative synergy that happens with in-person interactions have greatly changed, BECC has adjusted and community meetings, collaboration, and strategies identified to move the needle on racial equity forward over the next two years, (Celebrations, Policy, and Training) have continued due to technological advancements and BECC remains active utilizing virtual platforms. During the pandemic, BECC has hosted training connected to birth equity and has created and distributed a safe sleep PSA: https://youtu.be/jco4ZiYVf4k which has been shared with BECC members, community partners, and home visitors of families with young children.
How can MPO/MNPQC help BECC with its mission?
MPO can provide policy support, specifically in Doula reimbursement. A Doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible. What are some of the barriers we are hearing from Doulas? How do you change a bill into law? Tamiko Ralston, member of the BECC community and Public Health Nurse Clinician states that “if there’s an opportunity to have a conversation together, that’s the goal. Training opportunities related to building capacity, the in-and-with community is our primary mission.” MPO can also help with implicit bias training to increase learning on both ends.
Training sessions are typically held in collaboration with community members and stakeholders. BECC’s training sessions typically revolve around policy changes and conversations around advocacy. Within each training session, professors, health care specialists, and community members hold conversations on inequities. We are most interested in the training leading to sustainable change at all levels- individual, community, and system.
BECC’s emphasis will always be centered around collaboration and communication, so even during the pandemic, training sessions have had just as much, if not more, engagement with participants and the overall community.
Finally, how do you present data?
Amy Lytton, BECC member, and Public Health Nurse/data analyst shared, working with data can be overwhelming, so the most important part of the process is sharing any new information regarding data, such as discussing the data when it is more internalized. When presenting data to the public, we typically use PowerPoint presentations and visuals, as well as logic models based on the data we find. The main goal BECC has when presenting data is centered around how to connect a story to the data that can create a connection with the community members.
For more information, please visit BECC’s introduction video:
Interviewed by: Kavya Karthic & Yoolee Yi, MPO Interns