Sacred Roots Community Doula Program from FamilyCare Health and Black Parent Initiative Launches
FamilyCare Health is first CCO to offer the program to Oregonians on OHP/Medicaid
PORTLAND, Ore. (April 13, 2017) – FamilyCare Health and the Black Parent Initiative (BPI) are pleased to announce their partnership in the Sacred Roots Community Doula Program. This two-year project will explore how Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) and community-based organizations can improve birth outcomes for African American and African immigrant women by offering culturally specific doula services.
“We’re excited to participate in this partnership with BPI and explore sustainable ways to improve healthcare services for pregnant women and their families,” said Oscar Clark, Vice President of Integrated Services at FamilyCare Health. “With consistent, culturally specific support both during and after pregnancy, we expect to see improved birth outcomes.”
In a review of Oregon data, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) found that non-Latino African Americans faced the most disparate birth outcomes when it comes to indicators including premature birth, low birth weight, and infant mortality. In 2011, the Oregon legislature passed House Bill 3311, which directed OHA to explore options for including doulas in state medical assistance programs to reduce health disparities among women who face a disproportionately greater risk of poor birth outcomes. According to an OHA Committee report, since “doulas traditionally come from the communities they serve and have an intimate knowledge of the culture, they are uniquely positioned among the health care workforce to improve birth outcomes.”
FamilyCare Health and BPI plan to serve 50 FamilyCare Health OHP/Medicaid members within the first year of the program. A doula will be present throughout each member’s entire pregnancy and after the birth, attending an early prenatal appointment to connect and provide contact information with the treating provider. This will help bridge the gap between clinical and home settings.
According to BPI President and CEO Charles McGee, “Everything we know about child development and long term outcomes clearly illustrates the deep need to ensure every child has a good start to life. Our partnership with FamilyCare seeks to provide families a caring, culturally competent, support doula – and home visiting. The research is clear, parents who have access to this type of support give birth to children who do better. We are thrilled to partner with FamilyCare as we bring hope and opportunity to families in our community.”
In addition to improving health outcomes, another project goal is to increase the number of state-certified doulas registered in Oregon. By enabling doulas to bill Medicaid as part of this demonstration program, FamilyCare Health and BPI hope to see increases in the number of doulas on the state registry and in the number of doulas providing culturally specific services.
About Black Parent Initiative
The Black Parent Initiative (BPI) was established in 2006 to help families in achieving financial, educational and spiritual success. BPI’s co-founders Johnell Bell and Charles McGee, founded the organization based on a large body of educational research that states the importance of parental and family engagement and stability in attaining educational success. The original premise was to engage Black parents and caregivers utilizing historically predominant Black churches as the organizing place, based on the notion that the missing link was Black families’ absence from conversations around education reform. Through community feedback, research, and experience, BPI’s approach has evolved to its current state. BPI is currently the only culturally specific organization in Portland focused solely on supporting low/moderate income parents as a vehicle for enhancing the lives of Black youth. Our programs- Together We Can (TWC), Parent University, and Black Family Resource Center- are based in a large body of research that shows children are more likely to succeed in learning, life, and realizing their dreams when supported by stable, and engaged adults. For more information please visit www.thebpi.org.
About FamilyCare Health
For more than 30 years, FamilyCare Health provided patient-centered health care to Oregonians. FamilyCare Health was the first health plan in Oregon to integrate models of physical and mental health and the first CCO in the tri‐county area certified by the Oregon Health Authority.