$200,000 investment from Amerigroup Foundation to Building Perinatal Support Professionals program will help narrow the maternal health inequity gap
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia has partnered with the Amerigroup Foundation to expand its Building Perinatal Support Professionals (BPSP) program to enhance economic opportunity and access to healthcare for women and birth givers in Georgia. Developed in 2017, BPSP provides a credentialing pathway, workshops, and a support system for those in underserved communities to become certified doulas. With an additional $200,000 investment from the Amerigroup Foundation, BPSP has expanded to provide additional certifying tracks for childbirth educators, breastfeeding specialists, and maternal mental health peer specialists.
Georgia currently holds some of the poorest national rankings for maternal and infant health, ranking 43rd for prematurity, 44th for infant mortality, and 48th for maternal mortality. While Georgia’s provider shortage has been well-documented, less attention has been paid to the lack of perinatal support professionals serving families in our state. Research has demonstrated that the work of these professionals has improved maternal and infant health outcomes in regions where families can access their services. BPSP provides the necessary introduction to these professions, while helping participants build economic self-sufficiency and improving maternal and infant health outcomes in the communities they serve and represent.
“At Amerigroup, we are fueled by our commitment to address health disparities across Georgia, working hand in hand with community partners to drive change and support programs that create equity in maternal healthcare. We’re proud to support Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies. Their enduring commitment to women and families, and their work to address racial disparities and biases, attend to health-related social needs, remove barriers to care, and drive measurable maternal/child health outcomes are critically important to ensure women and their babies can achieve optimal health and well-being.”Mel Lindsey, President, Amerigroup Georgia
The year-long BPSP program provides financial assistance, training, and mentorship to up to 20 participants per track towards their doula, lactation, maternal mental health peer support, or childbirth educator certification. BPSP implements a problem-centered curriculum that directly addresses barriers many women and families in Georgia face. Course topics include trauma informed care, crisis response, postpartum care, pregnancy and infant loss, and birth scenarios and responses.
In addition to the necessary credentialing workshops, each participant is provided with an experienced mentor and opportunities to attend additional workshops and seminars with community-based organizations to provide culturally competent and trauma-informed trainings.
Trainings for this year’s cohort began in March 2022 and will conclude in March 2023.
To learn more about BPSP, visit hmhbga.org/education/building-perinatal-support-professionals.