- Office of the Attorney General
Media Contact for During Black Maternal Health Week, AG Campbell Announces $1.5 Million Grant Program To Reduce Maternal Health Disparities
BOSTON — During Black Maternal Health Week, Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced a new grant program that aims to reduce maternal health disparities and promote culturally competent care.
The Maternal Health Equity Grant program will provide funding to non-profit organizations to provide culturally competent maternal health support services to Massachusetts residents, such as group models of prenatal care, access to doulas, doula workforce development, perinatal behavioral health support, and breastfeeding support. The grant program is being funded by money received through settlements reached by the AG’s Office.
“It is critical that we address the maternal health crisis affecting Massachusetts residents, especially in light of the stark racial disparities that leave Black mothers far more likely to die during or after childbirth,” said AG Campbell. “As abortion bans enacted across the country further exacerbate this crisis, I am proud to take another step to support people in deciding whether, when, and how to have and parent a child. This grant program will expand evidence-based services that center the lives of those burdened most by maternal health disparities. Everyone deserves a safe and supported journey to parenthood.”
In Massachusetts, Black, non-Hispanic birthing people are twice as likely to die during pregnancy or within one year postpartum than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. This grant is launched during Black Maternal Health week, which is a week-long campaign to bring awareness to and advocate for the elimination of maternal mortality.
“A safe pregnancy should be a right, not a privilege, but that is not the reality for pregnant people of color, who disproportionately face significantly more pregnancy-related health risks than any other ethnic group. The maternal morbidity crisis—which has only been exacerbated by the fall of Roe v. Wade—requires bold and intentional investments at all levels of government that provide everyone the high-quality, comprehensive care they need for themselves and their babies,” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Boston). “This new grant program by Attorney General Campbell is exactly the type of investment we need in this moment and will go a long way toward addressing maternal health disparities in the Commonwealth. I thank the Attorney General for her leadership and look forward to continued partnership to confront this crisis head-on.”
“It’s exciting to see our new Attorney General make critical funding available that centers Black women and birthing people at the forefront of improving maternal health outcomes in Massachusetts. Black women are still dying 2-3 times the rate of white women, this is a public health crisis,” said Sen. Liz Miranda (D-2nd Suffolk District). The good news is that there are many organizations who will benefit from this funding who’ve been providing critical services that aren’t historically available within our systems of care.”
“Increased access to diverse and culturally competent maternal health professionals is critical to improving the health inequities faced by communities of color,” said Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley (D-12th Suffolk District). “I applaud the AG’s office for increasing these organizations’ ability to provide critical perinatal support services in a way that is representative of the communities they serve. Doing so is a huge step toward reducing racial disparities, in maternal mortality and morbidity, and toward ensuring that birthing people can not just survive, but can thrive, during pregnancy and postpartum.”
“Women of color and their babies are at greater risk of death and complications in childbirth—and mortality rates are worsening, not improving,” said Michael Curry, President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. “We are grateful to Attorney General Campbell for her leadership on this tragic and exceptionally important issue, and for making critically needed resources available to health centers and other community-based organizations that work to deliver equitable and supportive maternal healthcare to all birthing people in need.”
Types of services eligible for funding through the AG’s grant program include pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum support services, as well as patient and family education. Support services include health care services and other services designed to meet an individual's holistic needs.
Applicants will be able to request up to $150,000 over a two-year period. Interested applicants can visit the AG’s website for more information and for application instructions. Questions regarding this grant opportunity may be submitted to AGOgrants@mass.gov, only until 5:00 p.m. on April 28, 2023. When submitting your question(s), please include “Maternal Health Equity Grant” in the email subject line.
Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on May 26, 2023.
The AG's Maternal Health Equity Grant program was developed by Health Care Analyst, Maeva Veillard and Deputy Chief Sandra Wolitzky, both of the AG's Health Care Division, and is managed by Nathan Gardner, Director of the AG's Grants Management Office.