Roundtable discussion addresses black maternal and infant care disparities in Chester County

Jenne Jones is presenting with Syreeta Bailey Wilson at the laptop during a Lincoln University Womxn’s Center roundtable discussion focused on eliminating disparities in Black maternal and infant care. Photo credits to The Fund for Women and Girls

Last week, on Feb. 23, Lincoln University’s Womxn’s Center hosted a roundtable discussion focused on eliminating disparities in Black maternal and infant care.

Organized by the dedicated advocates of Black Women of Chester County in Action, in collaboration with Lincoln University’s Womxn’s Center, the event brought together key stakeholders committed to driving positive change. Speakers included Dr. Patricia A. Joseph, Ph.D, Provost of Lincoln University; Talonda Rogers, MSN, RN of 4th Trimester Mahmee; Jenne Johns, MPH, of Once Upon a Preemie, Inc.; Samantha Collins, MPH, Manager of Healthy Start, Maternal Child Health Consortium; and Melissa A. Herd, Acting Regional Director & Executive Officer, Region III of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).

The roundtable featured powerful discussions and insights shared by the speakers, who drew from their lived experiences and professional research. Each speaker brought a unique perspective, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by Black mothers and infants in the realm of healthcare.

Representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr., U.S. Representative Chrissy Houlahan, and Pennsylvania State Senator Carolyn Comitta, as well as concerned members of the public, joined a crucial discussion focused on actionable steps to eliminate racial disparities in maternal and infant health in Chester County.

Tasha Isaac, MHS, of Representative Houlahan’s office, shed light on the H.R. 959 Maternal Health Momnibus Act, emphasizing the importance of legislative action. This bill directs federal multi-agency efforts to improve maternal health, particularly among racial and ethnic minority groups, veterans, and other vulnerable populations.

This impactful conversation with Chester County legislators built upon the insights shared during a successful Black maternal and infant health conference held at Chester County Hospital in late September. While the event has concluded, its impact resonates as a catalyst for continued collaboration to implement actionable solutions through public policy and legislation and advance the goal of equitable maternal and infant care.

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