"Medicaid has the capability to provide high quality care to millions of Americans impacted by a multitude of intersecting oppressions which impact health status and possibilities for healthy futures. With the work of the Institute for Medicaid Innovation, insightful examination highlights areas for growth necessary to improve the health of vulnerable populations. I believe that our work in this arena must deeply consider how we can support Medicaid using principles of healthy equity, social justice, human rights and intersectionality. We have a duty to see to it that Medicaid functions as best possible to ensure that all Americans can improve their health, wellbeing and livelihoods. Critical examination and responsive innovation allows us to make significant strides towards this future do just that."
Inas-Khalidah Mahdi, MPH, DrPh(c)
Vice President of the Equity-Centered Capacity Building, the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC)
Inas Mahdi, MPH, DrPh(c) is the Vice President of the Equity-Centered Capacity Building team at the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC) where she oversees the Training, Praxis and Evaluation, Technical Assistance and Community Power-Building teams. In her role, Ms. Mahdi provides support for anti-racism systems training, health system assessment and organizational change centered on the needs of Black birthing populations. Ms. Mahdi supports national perinatal health organizations, health systems and community-based organizations in advancing systems change for equitable birth outcomes.
Ms. Mahdi has over 19 years of public health experience, working in different capacities on projects focused on STI/HIV prevention among African American youth, intimate partner violence prevention and fatality reviews, and improving safe birth and preventing sexual violence in humanitarian conflicts.
She has served as a Public Health Advisor, National Sentinel Surveillance Coordinator, Epidemiology Coordinator and Public Health Prevention Service Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for over 13 years, working on adolescent sexual health, sexual violence prevention, Ebola and Cholera emergency response, and program monitoring and evaluation. Ms. Mahdi holds a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology and Global Health from The University of Alabama at Birmingham where she conducted a mixed-method analysis of factors contributing to adolescent pregnancy among rural Jamaican adolescents, and a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Alabama at Birmingham in Biology and Africana Studies.
Ms. Mahdi is currently a 4th year doctoral student (DrPh(c)) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health within the Health Equity and Social Justice program researching interventions that mitigate the impact of racial and sexual trauma on Black birthing people. She also serves on the research working group of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, where she helps expand maternal health research using health equity, human rights, Black feminist-womanist theory, and social epidemiology concepts.
Ms. Mahdi’s expertise and perspectives on birth equity and Black maternal health are featured in a number of perinatal health journals, Kotch’s Fourth Edition Maternal and Child Health textbook, and in the 2020 Aspen Strategy Group’s report on Reversing the U.S. Maternal Mortality Crisis.