Prisma Health has received a $125,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, to support a program to improve the birthing process for Black mothers, the health care system announced Jan. 23.
The program, which is modeled after similar interventions in North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., is expected to launch by early summer and will pair Black mothers receiving prenatal care from Prisma Health providers with doulas, individuals who provide non-medical support by giving encouragement, advocacy and comfort measures before, during and immediately after birth.
Prisma Health will initially serve up to 100 patients across its footprint by providing grants to offset the cost of doula services in settings such as:
- Postpartum settings
Each patient will choose her own doula and Prisma Health will directly pay the doula. The health care system will also proportionally distribute the program’s funds across all birthing hospitals to ensure Black women in all communities served by Prisma Health have an opportunity to participate.
“Black women across the U.S. experience a disproportionate rate of adverse health outcomes, including those around childbirth,” said Dr. Kacey Eichelberger, chair of the Prisma Health Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Upstate. “If increasing access to trained birth partners such as doulas can mitigate that risk at all, we are committed to trying.”
Prisma Health will release more program details at a later date.