IMI and EMC Launch National Birth Equity Learning Series on Community-Based Doulas and Perinatal Community Health Workers in Medicaid

IMI and EMC Launch National Birth Equity Learning Series on Community-Based Doulas and Perinatal Community Health Workers in Medicaid

Washington, DC – The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI) and Every Mother Counts (EMC) are launching a national learning series centered on community-based doula care and perinatal community health workers (CHWs). The learning series, developed with support from the Community Health Acceleration Partnership (CHAP), aims to support the creation and strengthening of pathways for Medicaid stakeholders — including Medicaid agencies and health plans, provider groups, and professional associations — to expand access to quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care.

Research shows that community-based perinatal support services provided by doulas and perinatal CHWs constitute a high-value health care practice. These models of care improve perinatal health outcomes, as evidenced by increased breastfeeding initiation and continuation, decreased cesarean sections, and improved satisfaction with one’s birth experience, while also being cost-effective. Ongoing challenges, such as COVID-19, have shed light on existing inequities in health care while simultaneously underscoring the need for community-based perinatal support services. Despite the significant benefit of these supports, accessing them can be difficult, particularly for communities of color who actively seek support and options that are respectful of their needs, values, and preferences. In addition, current Medicaid financing of doulas varies state to state and continues to present challenges of parity, equity, and sustainability.

The new community-based doula and perinatal CHW learning series will consist of eight (8), free 60-minute web-based learning sessions. These sessions will broaden participants’ awareness of community-based doula and perinatal CHW support and provide evidence supporting the benefits, cost-effectiveness, and potential to improve health equity of these services in Medicaid. In addition, the learning series will provide a roadmap for Medicaid stakeholders to explore next steps for implementation of this model within their state, organization, and/or practice setting. Learn more and register.

Learning Series Session Dates (3:00 – 4:00pm ET)

  • Session 1: December 1st
  • Session 2: January 5th
  • Session 3: February 2nd
  • Session 4: March 2nd
  • Session 5: April 6th
  • Session 6: May 4th
  • Session 7: June 1st
  • Session 8: July 13th

About the Institute for Medicaid Innovation

The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization that provides independent, nonpartisan information and analysis to inform Medicaid policy and improve the health of the nation.

About Every Mother Counts

Every Mother Counts (EMC) is a national non-profit organization working to achieve quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care for all by investing in community-led programs, engaging communities, thought leaders, and partners to raise awareness, and mobilizing communities to take action.

About the Community Health Acceleration Partnership

The Community Health Acceleration Partnership (CHAP) is a philanthropic organization that creates stronger community health systems through strategic collaboration and catalytic investments. CHAP believes that the people closest to the problems have the greatest insight into the solutions and supports policies and programs that sustain a Community-Based Workforce, with an emphasis on birth equity.