Zorya Foundation Supports Doulas Working Within the North Omaha Maternal Health Program

Childcare grants will be provided to doulas and lactation consultants working within the program to support Black mothers

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zorya Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to supporting women working on the frontlines of healthcare, today announced it will be providing childcare grants to doulas, lactation consultants and other clinicians supporting mothers within the North Omaha Maternal Health program.

“There’s strong evidence that doula care improves outcomes for mothers and their babies,” said Kat McDavitt, CEO of Zorya Foundation. “We’re supporting the program’s doulas and other clinicians so that they can, in turn, help others.”

Zorya Foundation practices trust-based philanthropy. The organization provides direct cash assistance to women working in the healthcare industry. By addressing barriers to remaining in the workforce, the foundation’s goal is to increase the percentage of women working in the industry and, ultimately, to increase the numbers of women in healthcare leadership roles. The foundation’s flagship fund provides $1,000 cash grants to clinician mothers working on the frontlines of healthcare.

The Omaha Better Birth Project, Omaha Black Doula Association and I Be Black Girl are three prominent community organizations participating in the North Omaha Maternal Health program, which was an awardee of the 2022 HHS Racial Equity in Postpartum Care challenge, and has the goal of improved maternal and infant health outcomes for Black mothers and their babies. Doulas, lactation consultants and other maternal support clinicians working with these three organizations are eligible for childcare grants through Zorya Foundation.

According to an article in Health Affairs, “doula care saves lives, improves equity, and empowers mothers.” Unfortunately, doula care is often inaccessible to underserved mothers, including those on Medicaid—which pays for doula care in only a few states across the country. The Omaha Black Doula Association, Omaha Better Birth Project and I Be Black Girl have partnered to support Black mothers in the program to improve the birth experience and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.

“The state of Black maternal health is unacceptable,” said Ashlei Spivey, executive director of I Be Black Girl. “Black mamas and pregnant folks are dying at alarming rates, during and after birth, and the top leading causes are all preventable. Access to doulas, lactation consultants, and other pregnancy and post-partum professionals are instrumental in creating positive outcomes for Black mamas and pregnant folks and their babies. We know the power of Black pregnant people being cared for by Black doulas, many of whom are parents themselves and need support with childcare in order to provide the best care to their patients, which is why I Be Black Girl is proud to partner with Zorya Foundation in providing childcare grants to Black doulas in our network.”

“Ensuring equitable access to doula care is a complex problem that most often focuses on the individual needs of the pregnant families we serve,” said Samantha Wall, executive director of Omaha Better Birth Project. “This support from the Zorya Foundation helps address the issue from a different direction, reducing barriers for the doulas themselves to be able to provide the best care possible. We are honored to partner with Zorya on our mission for health equity.”

Zorya Foundation is pleased to support healthcare workers within this innovative program that uses a combination of technology, health data exchange and community support to prove that improved maternal outcomes are possible.

Learn more about Zorya Foundation’s initiatives, and apply for support, at www.zoryafoundation.org/initiatives.

About Zorya Foundation

Zorya Foundation is a trust-based non-profit created to give back to women in the healthcare community. Despite making up nearly 80 percent of workers in the healthcare industry, women continue to be underrepresented in positions of leadership. Women face numerous challenges throughout their professional journeys. Discrimination, harassments, poor maternal care, unpaid maternity leave, high costs of childcare, caring for aging parents. These are all issues that the Zorya Foundation hopes to address. We exist to fill the gaps, creating and supporting opportunities for women to work and thrive in the healthcare industry. www.zoryafoundation.org.

Contacts

Emma Nelson

Director of Advocacy, Zorya Foundation

emma@zoryafoundation.org