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Read the full press release here.

BLACK Wellness & Prosperity Center (BWPC) will serve as Community Co-investigator with Stanford University driving research to reduce racial disparities in severe maternal morbidity from hemorrhage through a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant.

Dr. Irogue Igbinosa, Stanford University, Leslie Kowalewski, Executive Director Perinatal Outcomes Collaborative housed at Stanford University, Shantay R. Davies-Balch, Dr. Subhashini Ladella.

Photo from BLACK Maternal Health Week 2023. Shown left to right: Dr. Irogue Igbinosa, Stanford University, Leslie Kowalewski, Executive Director California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), housed at Stanford University, Shantay R. Davies-Balch, President & CEO, BWPC, and Dr. Subhashini Ladella, Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Director of Perinatology, Community Medical Centers.

As a part of the IMPROVE initiative, the NIH selected Stanford University as one of 10 Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence. Through this initiative, the NIH awarded funding spanning 7 years to Stanford PRIHSM (PReventing Inequities in Hemorrhage-related Severe Maternal morbidity).

In the role of Community Co-Investigator for Stanford PRIHSM, BWPC has been awarded over half a million dollars to co-create an Anemia Prevention Toolkit to reduce the prevalence and the racial and ethnic disparities of iron deficiency anemia—one of the projects in this wide-ranging initiative.

Iron deficiency anemia is a public health concern that has disproportionately high rates among Black and Latinx birthing persons. Severe anemia is associated with higher risk of postpartum hemorrhage, which is among the top five leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths in the state of California and across the nation. Anemia during pregnancy can also increase the risks of preterm birth and low birthweight.

BWPC’s President & CEO, Shantay R. Davies-Balch, MBA and Executive Program Manager, Kata Nemeth, MPA, will support the development and refinement of the Anemia Prevention Toolkit by gathering and translating patient and community perspectives.

"Our partnership with Stanford University is a powerful example of community power-sharing in research. The Anemia Prevention Toolkit will be an additional resource contributing to safer and healthier pregnancies for all," shares Davies-Balch.

BWPC and Stanford previously collaborated on anemia-focused research, laying the groundwork for the upcoming phase. In 2021, BWPC led community engaged research in partnership with Stanford, establishing the Anemia Community Leadership Group (ACLG) and conducting qualitative interviews with Black and Latinx people who experienced anemia during pregnancy, to identify gaps and barriers to care.

Watch: Short presentation from Stanford Partner Dr. Deirdre Lyell about Anemia in pregnancy and our work to find solutions together here:

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with BWPC to co-lead this initiative. Community and academic partnerships can be powerful in improving pregnancy outcomes among those most at risk. Together we can reduce unacceptably high levels of iron deficiency anemia and its related major complications during pregnancy, and reduce racial and ethnic disparities,” says Deirdre Lyell, MD, Stanford’s faculty lead of the anemia project.

Read the full press release here.

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