Uzazi Village- A Community Vision of Maternal Infant Health
December 9, 2011 a community meeting was held at the Kansas City, MO Health Department. The purpose of this meeting was to gather a group of community stakeholders to come together to create a vision of what maternal infant health in our community SHOULD look like. Here is snapshot of the vision that was created specific to zip codes within the African-American community of KCMO:
“community conversations” to discuss the vision
Uzazi Village- A Culturally Relevant and Respectful Model of Maternal Infant Health for the Urban Core
What is Uzazi Village?
Uzazi is Swahili for birth. Uzazi Village will be a community-based perinatal care model created by community men and women for community women and infants (and their families) who are at higher risk for poor perinatal outcomes. We seek to create a model of care that is affordable, accessible, sustainable, high in quality, is culturally appropriate, and respectful of traditional/ancestral knowing, that promotes a high level of wellbeing and improves overall potential for the individual and the community to live in harmony in order to pursue its full purpose for being.
What does this model of care look like?
Maternal-infant health Family health Community health
-Peer to peer learning models -family care/pediatric care -high risk zip codes
-home visits with 'peridoulas' -male leadership roles - on bus lines
-midwifery care -assumed male involvement -vibrant communities
-lactation supportive -same provider throughout -providers live here
-bartering system for pay -school nurse expanded role -linked to other resources
-house calls by midwives - parish nurse expanded role -community supported
-same provider throughout -group centered care - decreased medicaid reliance
-personal ownership of health -wellness focused care - we did it ourselves
-partner with clients, listen -clients define family -community gardens
Does this sound like a conversation you would like to join?
This document will be dispersed far and wide throughout our community with a survey attached to invite feedback. In addition, we will begin next month attending assembled groups to share the vision for the purpose of finding 'our people'. Those individuals looking for just such a project to work with will hear about us through our "Community Conversations" series. They will help to write this story.
Another interesting development this week: I invited a national insurance company to join me in crafting an application for a federal grant seeking innovation in healthcare service delivery to Medicaid populations. They said yes! We will be submitting a proposal for pregnancy doulas (or what I call 'Peridoulas' ) to follow pregnant medicaid clients from the start of pregnancy to up to a year following pregnancy. I fully expected this insurance company would read my email and hit the delete button. Imagine my surprise to get a call the very next day from the Vice President of Research and Innovation out of Long Beach California! So add to my to do list, crafting a winning grant proposal that is due at the end of January. Even though I accepted two adjunct teaching positions for the spring semester, I am considering turning down one of them so I can concentrate on grant writing (and book writing, and workshop writing, and article writing...not to mention starting CNM school). This should teach me to be careful what I ask the universe for...