The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has announced a three-year, $2 million grant to the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to expand a community-based doula program.
Mount Sinai will work with NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and Queens to provide doula care to pregnant people experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness and those who are incarcerated, two populations that often face some of the highest health needs and complications. The grant will support community-engaged planning, implementation, and evaluation of full-spectrum birth-related doula services. The initiative builds on the “HoPE” (Helping Promote Birth Equity through Community-Based Doula Care) Program to expand access to doula care within the public healthcare system in Queens and mitigate maternal and infant health disparities, particularly for people of color.
“Right now, New Yorkers experiencing homelessness or incarceration are twice as likely as their housed peers to experience negative birth outcomes,” said Helmsley Charitable Trust’s New York City program officer Tracy Perrizo. “At Helmsley, we look for solutions that reduce barriers to care for those with complex needs and limited access to quality services. Expanding doula services for those who are sheltered or incarcerated can improve birth experiences. With continued support from doulas who understand their challenges and needs, we are optimistic that this program can enhance participants’ overall engagement with healthcare and promote long-term well-being for themselves and their children.”
(Photo credit: Getty Images/Asia Vision)