“Everything” – that’s what one doula said when asked what she liked best about the HealthConnect One (HC One) Community-Based Doula evaluations during the accreditation process completed by Open Arms Perinatal Services (OAPS) in July. “I liked the laid-back and comfortable conversations we had. I liked that the HC One team felt like they were a part of our team.”
The HealthConnect One team couldn’t be prouder of the team at Open Arms Perinatal Services for their hard work and dedication in achieving their three-year accreditation for their Community-Based Doula Program, effective from May 18th, 2023 to May 18th, 2026. Open Arms Perinatal Services has maintained its HealthConnect One Community-Based Doula Accreditation for the past ten years, demonstrating their commitment to providing high-quality care to families.
Since 2009, HealthConnect One has collaborated with Open Arms Perinatal Services, providing training, technical assistance, and program development support to help them establish their Outreach Doula program. We are thrilled to see the success of the program, with the CBD program at Open Arms Perinatal Services serving over 300 birthing people since its launch in 2009. “[HealthConnect One] made this experience simple and gave me a chance to reflect on my work,” shared Memorie Gladstone, Outreach Doula Services Lead Doula.
Open Arms Perinatal Services has achieved some of the highest breastfeeding/body feeding duration rates in the state, and their breastfeeding rates at birth are 97.30%, compared to Washington State’s 95.0%, and their breastfeeding rates at 3 months are 50%, compared to Washington State’s 38.10%.According to HealthConnect One standards, OAPS is meeting at least 80% of the births attended and supported by community-based doulas, especially during the global COVID-19 pandemic when so many births could not be attended.
As an accredited community-based doula program, OAPS has demonstrated their dedication to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. Their organization underwent a rigorous review process, which included an on-site visit by a team of surveyors. Open Arms Executive Director, Dila Perera, MPH, MSW, expressed her gratitude, saying “The model works and has helped make a huge impact on the community that we serve. As the first organization to be accredited for our Outreach Doula program, we are grateful to continue to demonstrate the power and impact of community-based doulas to improve maternal health, infant health, and early learning. Our communities need community-based doulas and authentic approaches like those fostered by HealthConnect One.”
A client served by a doula shared that “I was able to [navigate] my experiences as a [mother]. I am grateful that majority of them were women of color.” Currently, Open Arms Perinatal Services employs seven CBDs and compensates them for their work. The outcomes from their work continue to remain strong and indicative of the effectiveness of the CBD program. We recognize their commitment to birth and racial equity and are proud to work alongside them towards these important goals.