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Leveraging Lived Experience, Clinical & User-Generated Data, and Engaging Community Partners Are Key Takeaways from The Nation’s Largest Black Maternal Health Conference


  • Turning qualitative, lived experiences into actionable data for hospitals, payers, providers, government agencies, national maternal and child health organizations, and state and city collaboratives
  • Advancing accountability and transparency in birth equity. Building and sustaining systems of responsibility
  • Building and sustaining communities of care around birthing people.
  • Ongoing support for non-clinical care providers such as Midwives, Doulas, perinatal mental health providers, etc.
  • Closing the gaps in clinical data, especially reporting between prenatal appointments and one year postpartum

The conference featured a diverse lineup of speakers, including leading researchers, healthcare practitioners, technology innovators, and community organizers:

  • Jessica Bell Van de Wall, CEO, Frame Fertility
  • Layo George, founder and CEO, Wolomi
  • Melissa Hanna, CEO and co-founder, Mahmee
  • Wanda Irving, co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Believe Her App
  • Kimberly Seals Allers, founder, The Irth App
  • Simmone Taitt, founder and CEO, Poppy Seed Health
  • Ariana McGee, Theadora James, and Elicia Harris, MD, cofounders, Navigate Maternity

For a full list of speakers, visit: https://bmhc2024.vfairs.com/en/#agenda

Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, MPH, CHES, Julia A. Okoro Professor of Black Maternal Health, Tufts University School of Medicine and Executive Director for the Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice said, “This year’s conference was a game-changer. We witnessed groundbreaking innovations and heard from trailblazers who are leveraging technology to bridge gaps in care, dismantle systemic barriers, and empower communities. From wearable solutions to evidence-based, data-driven approaches, we have seen the power of innovation to steer equity and justice in maternal healthcare.”

She continued, “What captured all of us, however, were the stories; The ones that broke our hearts and left us in tears. The stories of lives lost, of unfair practices, of criminalization of black and brown parents for decisions they’ve rightfully made about their own bodies and that of their children. This is what moved us; from these words, we pledged not to let the stories be left untold, or the innumerable and often preventable deaths be in vain. Our work continues, turning words into action, ideas into initiatives, and challenges into opportunities.”

“We’re grateful to the Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice for hosting an inspiring event and bringing together some of the most distinguished voices and passionate advocates for maternal health equity,” said Kathy Paro, Vice President of Strategy Execution and Partnerships at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, who served as the Champion Sponsor of the conference. “The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is honored to support the Center and stand together in an unwavering commitment to reducing disparities in maternal care. Together with industry and community stakeholders, we can close the health equity gap and raise the bar for every Black and brown mom, at every stage of pregnancy.”

The 8th Annual Black Maternal Health Conference will be held on April 4, 2025, and will center on the important role of fathers in addressing Black maternal health disparities.

About the Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice

The Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice (CBMHRJ) is the first center of its kind, in the country, to foster academic and community-engaged research with a focus on Black maternal health and eliminating inequities. Born out of the MOTHER Lab, the Center is founded and directed by Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, MPH, CHES, the Julia A. Okoro Professor of Black Maternal Health and Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine. CBMHRJ works to protect the Black birthing experience by advocating for quality, equitable, and respectful care in childbirth. The center seeks to create a world where Black women can safely, efficiently, and comfortably receive equitable access to healthcare services without having to navigate through racism and/or discrimination in medical settings.

Media Contact

Jennifer Chapple Ingram, The Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice, 1 617-636-6948, [email protected], https://blackmaternalhealth.tufts.edu 

SOURCE The Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice

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