Moms and Babies in Tulsa, Oklahoma Receive the Gold-Standard of Care Through Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative Community-Based Doula Program

Published December 12, 2023 under Blog

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TBEI-Press-Release accreditation

CHICAGO, IL- HealthConnect One (HC One) is pleased to share with our partners, funders, and all birth equity advocates across the country, that Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative (TBEI) has been accredited for a period of three years for its Community-Based Doula Program from September 12, 2023 to September 12, 2026. Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative has achieved their first HC One Community-Based Doula Accreditation! TBEI is a HealthConnect One accredited Community-Based Doula Program site and provider of Community-Based Doula Training.  

By pursuing and achieving accreditation, TBEI has demonstrated that it meets our national standards for quality and is committed to pursuing excellence.  TBEI has achieved the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization providing Community-Based Doula programming and shows your organization’s substantial conformance to the standards set forth by the national committee. TBEI Three-Year Accreditation comes after a rigorous review process, which included a site visit from a team of surveyors and internal and external processes review to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to offering measurable, accountable, and high-quality programs and services.

Omare Jimmerson, TBEI, Executive Director, stated: “It was extremely important to me to bring the CBD Model to Tulsa to be able to support women of all backgrounds with positive maternal support during their birthing experience. For far too long, doula services have been reserved for an elite group of women  who oftentimes do not have the negative birthing experiences. In a state where Black and Indigenous women experience death at a rate 3X higher than white women, I believe it is imperative that we do everything within our power to uplift them and create opportunities of JOY during their birthing experiences. The community approach allows women to build relationships with women who have shared experiences”.  

The CBD Program Manager, Shamika Boone was asked if she had to give advice that she would share: “Be sure your community asks for you, because if you go and they did not ask you, you will be upset because they don’t want you”. 

The Community-Based Doula (CBD) program at Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative has served over 300 birthing people since its implementation of the program in 2019. TBEI outcomes continue to remain strong and indicative of the effectiveness of their CBD program. TBEI continues to have the lowest rates of preterm birth and low-birth weight babies born to clients, and these are even more significant for Black clients. For all clients, the preterm birth rate is 10.2%; the Oklahoma state average is 11.9%. For Black clients, 7.4% of babies are born with a low-birth weight and the state average for Black babies is 15.4%; this 50% reduction means healthier families and significant healthcare savings for families and the state!

In July, TBEI facilitated HealthConnect One’s Community-Based Doula training and has trained a total of 92 community-based doulas and 41 community-based doulas certified and 35 participants are currently working on completing their certification. With guidance and technical assistance from HealthConnect One, they hosted their first CBD training in November of 2019.

According to HC One standards and indicators, TBEI is meeting at least 80% of the births attended and supported by Community-Based Doulas especially when so many births could not be attended during the Global COVID-19 Pandemic.CBDs reflect the families being served in race/ethnicity, language, culture, etc. TBEI currently employs 7 full-time CBD and compensates them for their work. One doula stated that “the salary adds value to her family”.

HealthConnect One’s VP of Training and Curriculum, Brenda Reyes, said what an honor it is to see HC One’s Community-Based Doula 5 Essential Components  being implemented with fidelity and commitment by TBEI’s entire team. Their dedication, love, commitment, and advocacy for the families they serve is valuable and it lets us know how important it is for birth and racial equity. May we continue to be inspired and celebrate the wonderful work being led by Black, Indigenous and People of Color across the country.

HealthConnect One has worked with TBEI since February 19th, 2019, when we provided training, technical assistance, and program development support to assist them in developing their Community-Based Doula program. Based on our community-based doula model, the TBEI was the first community-based doula program in Tulsa, Oklahoma to achieve the HealthConnect One Community-Based Doula Accreditation on October 26, 2023. This national accreditation validates the quality and fidelity of their program and affirms their community-centered approach to providing services to birthing people and families.

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About HealthConnect One– HealthConnect One is a nationally recognized nonprofit training and technical assistance agency that uses innovative, community-centered approaches to support direct-service providers in promoting the health of mothers, infants, and birthing families. Operating with the awareness that birth equity is fundamental to racial equity, HealthConnect One collaborates with community-based organizations and advocates, to train community health workers, connect community-based initiatives, and mobilize diverse stakeholders to build policies and programs that improve birth equity. Learn more about our work here: https://healthconnectone.org/about-us/.

For more information or to learn more about TBEI please go to www.tulsabei.org and follow their work on social media at Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative (@tulsabirthequity) • Instagram photos and videos &

https://www.facebook.com/TulsaBirthEquity

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