Perinatal Equity Initiative
- Due to the statewide disparity in Black infant mortality, former Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation (June 2018), authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell, to establish the California Perinatal Equity Initiative, or PEI, through the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
- Black infant mortality rates are 2 to 4 times higher than the rates for other ethnic groups statewide.
- This initiative is intended to address the causes of persistent poor birth outcomes, and to identify best practices to improve disparities in infant mortality.
- PEI Profile
Contra Costa County Perinatal Outcomes Data
These data about prematurity, low birth weights, and pregnancy/infant loss for Black families are the drivers for this initiative, however it is not exhaustive of all perinatal health indicators. Please contact us if you would like more information about aggregate maternal and infant health indicators for Contra Costa county.
CCHS is one of 11 counties that received PEI funding to expand upon existing interventions to address heath equity. PEI is intended to build upon support for Black families in innovative ways. To learn about our sister program, Black Infant Health, and to hear stories from mothers please see the videos below.
In our planning year we completed the following phases of PEI:
- Phase 1: Conduct an environmental scan to gain a deeper understanding of the Black Community and its Infant Mortality rate.
- Phase 2: Partner with 2-5 hospitals with the highest Black preterm singleton births to conduct a medical records review of preterm births to understand causes and possible interventions.
- Phase 3: Establish a local Perinatal Health Equity Community Advisory Board to provide input on the needs and opportunities to reduce Black Infant Mortality. This board will inform a strategic plan and identify interventions to address the perinatal health disparities in our county.
- Phase 4: Develop and implement a Public Health Awareness Campaign to raise awareness and to promote health messages to vulnerable populations with the highest rates of preterm birth and infant mortality.
Community Advisory Board
- We have an active Community Advisory Board that meets quarterly and advises our PEI Team about needs of the community and services that should be reinforced in Contra Costa County for Black families. Additionally, board members bring awareness about the need for health equity where they live, work, play and pray. This diverse group of stakeholders represents parents, physicians, doulas, public health professionals, early childhood professionals, and more.
- If you are interested in joining our Community Advisory Board, please complete this application and send it to us.
Contra Costa PEI Interventions
CDPH required that each PEI county select and prioritize at least 2 types of interventions. The Contra Costa PEI Team identified:
- Fatherhood Initiatives
- Community-Based Doula Program
- CCHS released RFPs for Community-Based Organizations to compete for the contracts to provide doula and fatherhood support services to community members
- Contracts were awarded and have been executed as of October 2020
- These services are targeted to Black families to address stressors driven by structural racism and improve upon the social determinants of health. These supports are intended to decrease stress, improve protective factors, empower with health education and options for care, and increase access to healthcare and social services. The goal over time is to improve infant and maternal health indicators and outcomes such as normalizing full term babies born at healthy weights and fewer maternal complications in the postpartum period for Black families.
Community-Based Doula Program
Contra Costa Community-Based Doula Program features:
- Training community members to become paid certified doulas
- Prenatal home visits
- Prenatal care appointment support
- Birth Planning
- Labor and Delivery Support
- Postpartum home visits
- Breastfeeding Assistance
- Infant Care Support and Education
- Perinatal Depression Screening
- Linkage and referrals to health and social services
Our subcontractor for these services is Building Blocks for Kids. For more information about becoming a doula, or receiving free doula services for Black birthing people, please contact:
Lauren McCollins, Community-Based Doula Program Manager
Phone number: 510-232-5812 ext. 407
Physical address: 312 9th St. Richmond, CA 94801
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
To sign up, please complete this form.
Contra Costa Fatherhood Program features:
- 24/7 Dad AM Training: 12 Sessions (individual or group)
- The five characteristics include: Self-awareness; Caring for Self; Fathering Skills; Parenting Skills; and Relationship Skills, all integral components of being a "24/7 Dad."
- Specific booster sessions on new and expectant father AND non-custodial fathers
- The Booster Session kit includes content on: Workforce Readiness Session; Rights & Responsibilities Session; Visitation; Child Support Session; and a Money Management Session.
- Linkage and referrals to health and social services as needed
Our subcontractor for fatherhood services is Aspiranet. To learn more about the program or to get supportive services, please contact:
Lonnie Blanson, Father Engagement Specialist II
Phone Number: 925-489-3762
Website address: www.aspiranet.org
Social Media: Instagram @eastcountyfirst5center
Physical Addresses where clients can get services:
- 355 East Leland Rd, Pittsburg, CA 94565
Bay Area Public Awareness Campaign
As part of the Perinatal Equity Initiative (PEI) – a statewide effort to address the causes of persistent inequity and health disparities that threaten Black maternal and infant health – five Bay Area counties launched a communications campaign to raise awareness about this issue and, ultimately, drive systems change to ensure the wellbeing of Black mothers and their families. #DeliverBirthJustice will be the first Bay Area-wide campaign featuring the stories, testimonials and experiences of Black mothers in their perinatal journey.
The goals of the #DeliverBirthJustice campaign are to raise awareness and share information about how systemic racism and bias drive persistent inequity and health disparities for Black birthing people and babies, and build public will for systems change and interventions at the local, regional and statewide level.
- Download our Deliver Birth Justice brochure
- Campaign video
- Follow our campaign social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Please like, share and retweet to raise awareness of this important issue.
- See an article featuring the campaign in the San Francisco Chronicle
- Read our op-ed on this campaign in CalMatters
- California Dept. of Public Health Websites
- Resources for Healthcare Professionals
- Toolkits | California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (cmqcc.org)
- My Birth Matters | California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (cmqcc.org)
- Black Maternal Health Advocacy Groups and Organizations
- Home - NBEC (birthequity.org)
- Black Mamas Matter Alliance - Advancing Black Maternal Health
- Home | ourbwbj (blackwomenbirthingjustice.com)
- Professional Training Resources
- PTBi (ucsf.edu)
- Health equity workgroup (marchofdimes.org)
- Eliminating Inequities in Perinatal Health Care Project (diversityscience.org)
- Legislation about Black Maternal Health
- Resources for Birthing People & Partners
- Birthing People's Bill of Rights COVID-19 Edition
- About us (rootsoflaborbc.com)
- Frontline Doulas
- Alameda County Fathers Corps - First 5 Alameda
- The Dad Gang – Changing the way the world views black fatherhood
For more information:
Natalie V. Berbick, MSW,