National Racial Disparity Task Force Tackles Preeclampsia

Racial disparities is a fact of maternal health. We know that it has a significant impact on health outcomes for Black moms and their babies. But it's not enough to simply talk about those disparities. The Preeclampsia Foundation has launched a racial disparities task force to create recommendations to address these issues as they relate to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP).

In late January, Preeclampsia Foundation Board Chair Kim Smith and fellow board member and maternal health executive Robyn D'Oria led the charge as co-chairs to recruit thoughtful, passionate individuals to create action. What has emerged is a talented, dedicated team of volunteers.
Organized around the Foundation's three pillars - Community (patient education and awareness), Healthcare Practices (to include clinical providers, payers, state initiatives and legislative efforts) and Research (to find a cure), the national Racial Disparity Task Force is identifying the top priorities for the Preeclampsia Foundation in what will be become a strategic action plan.
"Their expertise is invaluable to us. The perspectives this task force brings - their professional experience, clinical knowledge, and/or their lived experience is vital to us in developing a strategy to advocate for equitable care," says CEO Eleni Tsigas.
"There is nothing simplistic about this topic," adds Board Chair Kim Smith. "Everything from culturally-relevant patient information, access to care, untreated hypertension, postpartum preeclampsia, and implicit bias. The time to identify and move those barriers is now. With our expertise in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, our hope is that our findings will produce specific actions that the Preeclampsia Foundation and the larger healthcare and research community can act upon to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in preeclampsia.”
Smith said the team is on schedule to have their recommendations completed by Fall 2020.
Members of the Task Force include:
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Linda Burke, MD, MS
Fellow, ACOG
Author, The Smart Mother's Guide to a Better Pregnancy
Orlando, FL
Nastassia Davis, DNP, MSN, RN, IBCLCC
Assistant Professor, Nursing
Montclair State University
Founder/Executive Director
Perinatal Health Equity
Montclair, NJ
Velva Dawson
Senior Manager, Global Impact -Social Business Practices
Johnson & Johnson
New York, NY
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Robyn D'Oria, MA, RNC, APN
CEO, Central Jersey Family Health Consortium
Board Member, Preeclampsia Foundation, Co-Chair Racial Disparity Task Force
North Brunswick, NJ
Fathiyyah "Tia" Doster
Program Director
Community Connections of Life, Inc.
Miami, FL
Tabassum Firoz, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Yale School of Medicine
Bridgeport, CT
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Shaconna Haley
Principal Consultant
InnerLight Holistic Prenatal & Birth Doula Services
Atlanta, GA
Natalie D. Hernandez, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Morehouse School of Medicine
Atlanta, GA
Marie James
Nurse Consultant
Nurse Family Partnership
National Service Office
Clayton, NC
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Snober Lakhani, RN, BSN, CLLC
Nurse Consultant
Nurse Family Partnership
New York, NY
Kay Matthews
Founder, Shades of Blue Project
Maternal Mental Health
Houston, TX
Erica M. McAfee
Founder, Sisters in Loss Pregnancy Loss Grief Coaching & Doula Service Company
Norfolk, VA
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Trashaun Powell
Program Manager
New Jersey Division on Women
Somerset, NJ
Kim A. Smith, MHA
Chair, Preeclampsia Foundation Board of Directors
Co-Chair Racial Disparity Task Force
National Manager, Practice Operations Development and Transitions, Tenet Healthcare.
Irmo, SC
Dr. Ken Ward
Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Clinical Geneticist
Laboratory Director
Predictive Labs
Salt Lake City, UT
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Jaye Wilson, RN
Melinated Moms
Patient Advisory Council, Preeclampsia Foundation
Linden, NJ

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