The Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice (CBMHRJ) was launched in March 2022 and was developed as an extension of the Maternal Outcomes for Translational Health Equity Research, also known as the MOTHER Lab, founded, and directed by Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, MPH, CHES, the Julia A. Okoro Professor of Black Maternal Health and an Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine. The vision and rationale of the CBMHRJ is to protect the Black birthing experience by advocating for quality, equitable, and respectful care in childbirth. The center seeks to create a world where Black women can safely, efficiently, and comfortably receive equitable access to healthcare services without having to navigate through racism and/or discrimination in medical settings. The CBMHRJ envisions that the interdisciplinary research center will be integrated with faculty from all Tufts schools. The mission of the CBMHRJ is to foster academic and community-engaged research in support of the center’s goals to conduct maternal health research with a focus on Black maternal health and eliminating inequities. The main goal of the center is to foster maternal health research at Tufts University School of Medicine, with a particular focus on improving the health of Black mothers and their babies by reducing maternal health disparities.
Watch Dr. AO’s TED Talk called “A Broken Healthcare System: Racism and Maternal Health”
The amazing Prof. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, Professor of Black Maternal Health at Tufts University School of Medicine, joins Gavin and Jessamy to discuss the widening mortality and morbidity gap affecting Black mothers in the USA, the prospects for maternal safety following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and how we can increase the diversity of NIH grant recipients.
“No part of this overturn is positive,” says Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, the Julia A. Okoro Professor in Black Maternal Health at Tufts University School of Medicine and director of the Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice (CBMHRJ) at Tufts University. “For women of color who were already in a pandemic of racism prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is another layer that further exacerbates underlying disparities and that will leave them disproportionately impacted.”
A legacy of injustice and inequity underpins reproductive health care disparities faced today by people of color.
As more rural hospitals and obstetric units close, the federal government is just beginning to define the scope and impact of maternity care ‘deserts’
Her research on maternal health inequity among Black women – a $3 million program over the next 5 years – is one of six NIH-funded programs aimed at reducing maternal morbidity and mortality in the USA.
Watch MOTHER Lab’s Founder and Principal Investigator Dr. Amutah-Onukagha’s feature on PBS Rhode Island.