Healthier Obstetrical Outcomes in Milwaukee

Supplementing traditional prenatal care with group prenatal care in urban Milwaukee

Full Project Name:Healthier Obstetrical Outcomes through Enrichment Activities & Community EngagementPrimary Community Organization:St. Joseph FoundationPrimary Academic Partner:Beth Damitz, MD, Family and Community MedicineAward Amount:$200,000
Award Date
January2014
Project Duration:30 months

Project Description Narrative:


In comparison to other developed nations, the United States has a high rate of infant mortality. In the city of Milwaukee, the overall infant mortality rate is 9.5 per 1,000 live births. However, there is a stark difference in infant mortality rates by race, where the infant mortaltiy rate among white infants is 4.7 per 1,000 live births, yet the percentage for African-Americans increases to a staggering 14.8 per 1,000 live births. Driving these deaths are high rates of preterm birth and low birth weight.

This project addresses the need for a community-based prenatal education and enrichment model that will provide peer-supported methods of supplemental care for high-risk pregnant women in urban Milwaukee.

Community partners:
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Wheaton Franciscan–All Saints Family Care Center, Wheaton Franciscan–St. Joseph Foundation, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Kappa Beta Zeta Chapter

Additional MCW academic partners:
Jeff Morzinski, PhD, Family and Community Medicine; Nadia Ahmad, Family and Community Medicine; Michele Leininger, Family and Community Medicine; Sandra Olson, MS, Family and Community Medicine; Christina Eldredge, MD, MS, Family and Community Medicine

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Established a prenatal educational and enrichment group model to bring social, emotional, and additional health services to pregnant women

• Created a “no cost” toolkit for community-based, patient-centered obstetrical group care to improve the ability of small clinics and practices to offer prenatal education and enrichment groups

• Demonstrated the value of the group, obstetrical, several participants returned to the obstetrical group during subsequent pregnancies

• Leveraged over $50,000 in funding from other sources

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