Media release

Improving perinatal care for women of color

Grants focus on supporting and enhancing opportunities for doulas and other perinatal health providers of color

Three nonprofit organizations will share $375,000 to improve care during pregnancy and immediately after birth for women of color through the Rhode Island Perinatal Workforce Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

The fund supports the perinatal workforce in Rhode Island, including, but not limited to, the doula workforce community; with particular focus on expanding equitable and culturally congruent perinatal services to communities of color in Rhode Island.

The Parent Support Network will use its grant to support its Healthy Mother & Baby: Workforce Expansion Project. The work will include expanding the workforce of Dual Certified Community Health Workers-Peer Recovery Specialists of color with a focus on service delivery during the perinatal period.

SISTA Fire will use its grant to create and support a network of doula and birth-workers of color. The network will deepen the relationships between members through creating ongoing space for peer engagement and exchange, help members strengthen their practice and approach through collectively identifying and addressing barriers, offer professional development for members, and support members as they work together for families.

The Urban Perinatal Education Center will use its grant to improve equity in teaching and perinatal services for the community of color as well as to offer a range of perinatal workforce trainings. These include trainings for certified childbirth educators, certified doulas, perinatal mental health advocates and lactation professionals, as well as support and training for community-based, midwives of color.

The Rhode Island Perinatal Workforce Fund at the Foundation was created by the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner with funding from Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization and Tufts Insurance Company, as well as UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company/United Healthcare of New England.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $98 million and awarded $76 million in grants in 2021. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.