Researchers in the Maternal and Child Health Equity Lab are investigating social and health system factors that disproportionately impact the health and birth outcomes of Black women.
“Persistent racial and social inequities in maternal and child health remain a significant public health issue,” says public health Assistant Professor Kyrah Brown, who leads the lab. “These inequities are driven largely by conditions in which women are born, grow, live, work, and age. Importantly, these conditions are created by structural forces such as systemic racism that manifest as policies and practices in social and health institutions. Black women in particular tend to experience higher rates of preventable chronic health conditions across the lifecourse, maternal health complications, and adverse birth outcomes compared to other racial groups.”
She and her team are using a combination of community-based participatory methods, secondary data analysis, and evaluation science to look at the individual-, community-, and systems-level factors that shape women’s health and birth outcomes. The goal is to understand how those complex interactions can be addressed to reduce racial disparities.