Program Activities & Events
- Purpose: enable faculty, residents and staff to share experiences (patient care or interpersonal interactions) where one has experienced or observed
- Discrimination (microaggressions, bias or unequal treatment)
- Equity being championed to highlight examples of positive interactions
- Goals: Use this information to develop educational initiatives to address bias in our interactions with patients and each other
- Anonymous & De-identified
Department DEI Leadership Retreat
- DEI Steering Committee and Department Leadership
- Engage in conversations aimed at developing culture in department with focus on diversity, equity and inclusion
- Creating a common understanding around DEI
- Creating an environment where people feel comfortable having difficulty conversations
- Naming the problems and identifying what is the current climate as it related to DEI
- Outline goals for the DIWE program
Black Maternal Health Week (April 11 – 15)
History: Recognition of Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha
"Go back to where you started, or as far back as you can, examine all of it, travel your road again and tell the truth about it. Sing or shout or testify or keep it to yourself: but know whence you came."
- James Baldwin (1953), "Go Tell it On the Mountain"
"I have a great respect for the past. If you don't know where you've come from, you don't know where you are going. I have respect for the past, but I'm a person of the moment. I'm here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I'm at, then I go forward to the next place."
- Maya Angelou (2011), Interview with the Arizona Republic
These two quotes highlight the importance of understanding our history as it informs and helps us understand the present, and guides us toward the future — hopefully, to make it better.
Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha were three enslaved black women in Alabama who were subjected to inhuman and painful experimentation at the hands of Dr. J. Marion Sims. While these three women have historically been overlooked and forgotten, Dr. Sims is remembered as the "father of modern gynecology" because of the surgical advancements he developed. But, these advancements came about from abuses he perpetrated.
Below are links to two recorded conversations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in recognition of Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha, and their contributions to modern gynecology. Knowing and understanding their history will help us all better understand the underpinnings of racism in medicine and the mistreatment of people of color in healthcare that has been, and continues to be, present to this day.
- Achieving Justice in Medicine: The Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha Memorial Lecture
- Recognizing Lucy, Betsey and Anarcha: A Live Conversation with Drs. Veronica Pimentel & Deidre Cooper Owens
Conversations: Black Maternal Health Virtual Town Hall
A conversation among attendings, residents, nurses and staff about the current state of Black maternal health in the U.S. and Maryland; and, more specifically, our Baltimore community. Also, a discussion of what we can and should do to have a positive impact.
The Experience: Movie Night
Dinner & Discussion
"The American Dream – Birth is a Dream"
Faculty, residents, nurses, and clinical and administrative staff were invited to participate in movie night, followed by a dinner discussion. The film highlighted the prenatal care and birth experiences of several Black women.
Discussion centered around:
- Using the movie as a framework to discuss the experiences of Black women in pregnancy and the patients we care for at UMMC.
- How all members of a health care team can work towards improving the care of Black women.
- How systemic and institutional racism exist at our own institution and what we can do to create change.
Awareness & Advocacy: Maryland Medical Assistance Doula Service Program
Sometimes, advocating for our patients for better healthcare means heading to the state house. We are seeing awesome shifts as to how state insurers approach care for birthing families. New changes to the Maryland Medicaid system mean doula services can now be provided FREE to beneficiaries. You can participate in positive changes such as this one by referring birthing families to doula services, or by using your voice when healthcare-related bills or other chances are brought forward for consideration.
What is a doula?
Doulas, also known as birth workers, provide continuous emotional, spiritual and physical support to birthing people. They often participate during prenatal care, attend a birth, and remain present for some time postpartum. Birth workers are trained professionals; however, they are not medical or healthcare providers and do not replace attentive family members, doctors, lactation experts, midwives, nurses, or physical therapists. A birth team without a doula is like a table with only three legs — it will stand, but it won’t be as steady.
Learn more about doula care:
What does the new bill do?
Any Maryland Medicaid member who is pregnant or has been pregnant in the past six months is eligible for FULLY COVERED doula services: that means doula services are free to the Medicaid member.
Doula providers must have certification and be registered with Maryland Medicaid for reimbursement. While physicians, CNMs and NPs may refer patients for doula services, this is not required.
What does this do for our community?
Continuous labor support from a trained birth worker is an evidence-based intervention. Pregnant people with birth workers are less likely to have preterm babies, cesarean deliveries and low birthweight babies. Birth workers also support breastfeeding to make it more successful. These complications disproportionally affect families of color.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Book Club
An informal dinner and discussion hosted by a faculty member in their home, with participation from faculty, residents and staff. Event is held every other month.
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown
Thick: And Other Essays
by Tressie McMillan Cottom
Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity
by Paola Ramos