The survey deadline has passed. Please view the information below for reference only.
Release Date: December 19, 2022
Survey Deadline: January 10, 2023
bi3 recognizes doula care has the potential to create more equitable outcomes for Black women in the Greater Cincinnati community. To strengthen and enhance the doula network, bi3 is issuing a survey to understand how bi3 may best support access to community-based doula services. The feedback from the doula community will inform the development of a bi3 funding opportunity in 2023.
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to tell the same bleak story: Black women suffer far worse maternal health outcomes than their White counterparts. The maternal mortality rate for Black women is nearly three times higher than for White women. Research also tells us that one pathway to better outcomes is to invest in doulas who serve as strong advocates and provide emotional and physical support during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.
To create an informed funding opportunity supporting community-based doula services for Black families in Hamilton and Butler counties in Ohio, bi3 wants to learn from and listen to those working in this space. bi3 is looking for insights from the doula community on how bi3 can best leverage its resources to create more significant impact and health outcomes for Black moms in our community.
bi3 has been committed to improving maternal and infant health for nearly a decade. In 2012 bi3 awarded a $3.2 million grant to fuel the first-ever collaboration between TriHealth, Every Child Succeeds, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati (UC) Health to reduce infant mortality rates in Hamilton County. The resulting program, StartStrong, developed a unique mom-centered approach that has proven effective in reducing extreme preterm birth, the leading cause of infant death in the Avondale community. The model has since spread to 12 other neighborhoods in Hamilton County.
bi3 has continued to partner with TriHealth and community organizations to support efforts to address Hamilton County’s Black infant death crisis. As a result of these collective efforts, Hamilton County realized its lowest infant mortality rate on record for the second year in a row in 2021.
Despite this progress, disparities in birth and maternal health outcomes persist. Ohio recently received a D+ on the March of Dimes report card. The same report card gave Hamilton County a ”D-“ due to its high preterm birth rate, which worsened in 2021.
bi3 is interested in supporting projects to expand and sustain community-based doula services that can improve the birth experience and reduce disparities in maternal and infant outcomes.
Based on bi3’s research—including discussions with local and national doulas and birth workers, as well as other maternal and infant health funders—one pathway to improve maternal and infant health outcomes for Black families is to invest in community-based doula services. One 2013 study found that doula-assisted mothers were four times less likely to give birth to a low birth weight baby and two times less likely to experience a birth complication. Additionally, a 2016 study led by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that women with doula care had 22% lower odds of preterm birth.
Potential bi3 funding paths:
- Increase the number of trained Black doulas
- Provide training, technical assistance or business development support to increase the capacity and financial sustainability of Black doulas
- Expand access to doula services for Black and/or low-income families
- Build a supportive community for Black doulas focused on personal and professional development
- Develop healthcare and community partnerships to increase referrals for doula services for Black families
- Engage in advocacy for Medicaid reimbursement of doula services
bi3 invites doulas, as well as those working in the doula space, to respond to this survey no later than January 10, 2023.
Those who respond will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon gift card (two will be awarded).
Please contact Marian Black, Manager of Grants and Partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (513) 569-6639 with any questions.
Please Note: Responding to this request for information does not guarantee future funding from bi3
bi3 is on a mission to transform health for all people in Greater Cincinnati by fueling innovation and health equity through grantmaking. bi3 leverages its strategic partnership with TriHealth to spark and scale new approaches to healthcare and partners with community-based organizations to fuel new solutions to deep-seated community health issues. bi3 is leading the way to a day when every person has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible; when a person’s health can no longer be predicted by race, ethnicity, ability or zip code. bi3 is a philanthropic initiative created by Bethesda Inc. to drive innovation in healthcare and improve community health outcomes.