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Eliminating Disparities in Maternity Care Together
MAWS' Spring Conference 2012
Friday May 4, 2012, 8 am to 5 pm
Shoreline Conference Center, Shoreline, WA

The Midwives' Association of Washington State presented a focused conference on eliminating racial and cultural disparities in maternity care access and outcomes on May 4, 2012. This working conference was attended by midwives, nurses, social workers, doulas, lactation consultants, social justice advocates and students committed to moving our community towards the best future for all mothers and babies. We heard the latest research, learned about successful models and strategized about how we can work together to be part of the solution to this problem. We continued important conversations about undoing racism and strategized about how to move forward to eliminate disparities in maternity care. We also raised $6,500 as seed money for the new Washington Midwifery Foundation towards scholarships for aspiring midwives.

Our speakers:

A British-trained midwife and women’s health advocate, Jennie moved to the United States in 1989 and began a journey which has culminated in the formation of an innovative maternal child healthcare system, The JJ Way®.

She is the Executive Director of The Birth Place a free-standing birthing facility in Winter Garden, Florida as well as her own non-profit corporation Commonsense Childbirth Inc. Due to the poor birth outcomes experienced by low income and uninsured women she has established an outreach clinic for pregnant women who are at risk of not receiving prenatal care. Her ‘Easy Access’ Prenatal Care Clinics offer quality maternity care for all, regardless of their choice of delivery site or ability to pay and has successfully reduced perinatal disparities. Jennie’s school, Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery, trains and certifies midwives, doulas and paraprofessionals emphasizing culturally competent and community focused care.

Sheila has a broad range of experience and knowledge in the areas of social justice and public health. She has twenty years of experience in nonprofit leadership, development, and strategic planning, and holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington.

As Executive Director of Open Arms Perinatal Services, Sheila's leadership has been instrumental in supporting the growth of an organization that now "serves about 2700 women each year, offering an array of home visiting services according to the needs of women and their families. These services include prenatal support and parenting education in the last trimester of pregnancy, continuous emotional and physical support throughout labor and delivery, and postpartum assistance in the first six weeks after the baby is born. The Outreach Doula program extends this care through the first two years of a child’s life and adds adds additional services including early learning support. Open Arms also provides breastfeeding peer counseling for women receiving WIC assistance." (From the Open Arms web site)

amelia gavinAMELIA GAVIN
Dr. Amelia Gavin received her doctorate in Social Work and Political Science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the same institution that granted her an MSW and MPP (Masters in Public Policy). During her graduate program she was awarded the National Institute of Mental Health Dissertation Grant for her research studying depression and birth outcomes among African-American women.

Dr. Gavin became an assistant professor at the University of Washington in 2004 where she continues her work on health disparities in mental and physical health outcomes. A committed collaborator, Dr. Gavin’s research is centered within several interdisciplinary institutions including the Maternal and Infant Care Center at the University of Washington Medical Center where she investigates etiological pathways of preterm and low birth weight infants. Her work in health disparities also includes the exploration of how cultural, social and structural contexts factor into differing health outcomes particularly among racial and ethnic groups. (From UW School of Social Work web site)

Watch this short video that offers a glimpse of Jennie Joseph's work.


8:00 am: Doors open early for registration and continental breakfast

8:50 am: Welcome

9:00 am: BEST PRACTICE: Closing The Gap – The JJ WAY®! A model for reducing disparities and improving outcomes in perinatal health – Jennie Joseph, LM, CPM

10:30 am: Vendor break

10:45 am: The Role of Maternal Early-Life and Later-Life Risk Factors on Offspring Low Birth Weight: Findings From a Three-Generational Study – Amelia R. Gavin, PhD MSW

11:35 am: LUNCH

12:35 pm: Announcements

12:45 pm: Cultural Competence and Diversity - Developing a Multicultural Approach to Addressing Health Disparities- Sheila Capestany, MSW MPH CD

2:05 pm: Snack/Vendor Break

2:20 pm: Prepregnancy Depressive Mood and Preterm Birth in Black and White Women: Findings from the CARDIA Study– Amelia R. Gavin, PhD MSW

3:15 pm: Film: When the Bough Breaks

3:50 pm: Panel: Next Steps—What Can Each of Us Do to Make a Difference?

4:50 pm: Departing words

5:00 pm: Conference ends

6 MEAC CEUs applied for

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