The Integrated Care for High Risk Pregnancies (ICHRP): low birth weight focus initiative addresses African American pregnancy disparities, and several groups are working to share knowledge and services with families, the African American community, paraprofessionals, and primary care providers. If you are a U.S.-born African American eligible for Medicaid in the Twin Cities, learn more about services to promote healthy African American pregnancies.
The ICHRP Initiative was piloted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services in 2015, tasked by the Minnesota legislature to improve birth outcomes. After research, they discovered that low birth weights were especially high in Hennepin County and Ramsey County, which was attributed to the population density in these counties of Native American and African American women born in the U.S. They then wanted to partner with the community to find solutions to this issue.
ICHRP had to implement virtual meetings for the grantees and board. While the respective grantee sites have their own protocol, we would convene twice a month virtually for the combined grantee meetings and board meetings.
Professionals can help us move forward by participating in implicit bias and anti-racism training regularly. They can also share spaces with the Black community by joining organization meetings, and sitting in to get connected to the experiences of the African American community. We need to humanize people that aren’t like us. For more ways to help, https://healthyblackpregnancies.org/ is a great website with numerous resources and readings about different ways to carry out this mission.
We mostly provide psychosocial support, which is proven to reduce low birth weight numbers. Some of these support systems are through culturally reflective care navigation, support groups, doulas that are also culturally reflective, and access points to different resources. All of this work aims to promote healthy birth outcomes for all pregnant people.
We do not have direct contact with child protection. However, we do encourage practitioners to make referrals so that we can reach out to mothers that need the resources we offer. In terms of housing and child protection, we facilitate case management and connect mothers and their children to housing resources so that they may be able to find the help they need.
These training videos are aimed directly at the community, which includes the healthcare and human services sector, as well as individual helping professionals. The social determinants of a healthy pregnancy involve many different sectors, so we try to include as many groups of people that are willing to learn. We want the community to be aware of these disparities, so these training sessions are a way for them to enhance their understanding. If others would like to learn more about these pieces of training and conferences, they can go to https://mn.gov/dhs/partners-and-providers/training-conferences/ to read more. We want individuals to reach out to us to be part of our monthly board meetings as well. Anyone can participate as a guest to be better informed about what we are doing.
Project Facilitator GrayHall LLC
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