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Ensuring Dignity Before, During and After Delivery

Ensuring Dignity Before, During and After Delivery

Washington Hospital Healthcare System’s Maternal Child Health Department is aligning with new diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI) efforts underway including combating unconscious bias against people of color and other individuals who may feel marginalized in pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care to ensure all patients are treated with dignity and respect.

All Maternal Child Health staff and physicians have participated in online education aimed at mitigating unconscious racial bias in alignment with Senate Bill (SB) 464, The California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act. Training includes maternal morbidity and mortality data as well as education on stereotyping, institutional racism, and nonmedical factors that influence health outcomes. These courses illustrate how unconscious bias is present in most people and how that impacts the delivery of care, along with offering ways clinicians can identify and overcome these barriers.

Several other initiatives are in motion to support our perinatal patients and families. These include:

  • The 2022 “Giving Tuesday” donations went towards the Maternal Child Health Fund which supports free and low-cost childbirth and perinatal education classes for the community to help families in need with supplies like diapers, formula, clothing and car seats.
  • A Patient Advisory Council is being formed to garner feedback on Maternal Child Health services, to ensure continuous improvement.
  • A psychiatrist specializing in treating peripartum patients and members of the LGTBQ community who recently joined Washington Township Medical Foundation.
  • Upcoming staff education on perinatal care for transgender patients through our UCSF affiliation.