ACURE4Moms is led by a team of clinicians, Community-Based Doulas, and researchers from across NC, including team members from UNC School of Medicine, Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), N.C. Department of Information Technology, Momma’s Village Fayetteville, and Sistas Caring 4 Sistas.
This study is led by a stakeholder advisory board, which includes patients of color who have had a pregnancy complication, community doulas, practice representatives, health insurance payers, patient advocacy group MomsRising, the North Carolina OB-GYN Society, the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the North Carolina Department of Public Health.
View our team and partners below. Meet our Doula Teams here.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Our study’s Co-Principal Investigators are Drs. Jennifer Tang and Rachel Urrutia of UNC’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, whose works are focused on addressing the inequities in women’s healthcare. They will be supported by several other UNC Co-Investigators who bring with them extensive knowledge, experiences, and resources toward the project, including Dr. Sam Cykert, Dr. Kate Menard, Dr. Wanda Nicholson, and Marcella Boynton. Members of UNC’s Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health (CMIH) will also be greatly involved through the course of the study, including Co-Investigator Sarah Verbiest. We will be relying on individuals from UNC’s Sheps Center for all our data management, analysis, and IT needs.
Momma’s Village Fayetteville
Momma’s Village Fayetteville (MVF) is a nonprofit community organization based in Fayetteville, NC providing Doula care, lactation support, holistic maternal mental health support, culturally -focused birthing & parenting education, and support & advocacy work for Black and brown families. They are one of our doula partners for this study and will be leading the community-based doula training and oversight in Eastern NC. Their founder, Angela Malloy, is also a Co-Investigator for this study.
Sistas Caring 4 Sistas
Sistas Caring 4 Sistas (SC4S) is community-based doula program based in Asheville and Charlotte, NC committed to birth equity, social justice, and reducing health disparities for women and infants of color. They are one of our doula partners for this study and will be leading community-based doula training and oversight in Western NC. One of their co-founders, Cindy McMillan, is also a Co-Investigator for this study.
Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC)
MAHEC serves North Carolina’s 16 western counties and is involved with training and retaining healthcare professionals, especially in rural areas. The MAHEC team, which include Amanda Brickhouse-Murphy and Dolly Byrd, have been leaders in offering a race-equity-centered approach to OB care and for this study are involved in the creation of our Maternal Health Equity Education Trainings for practice staff, a racial equity curriculum specific to our project. They will also help implement our project interventions at practices in the Western NC area, such as Charlotte.
North Carolina Area Health Education Center (NC AHEC)
NC AHEC is proud to be a collaborative partner in this important study aimed at advancing maternal health care in North Carolina. We recognize the challenges practices face in addressing factors that impact patient care and outcomes, and have positioned our Practice Support Facilitators to help. The Practice Facilitators are trained to work with OB/GYN practices to help them make meaningful changes to improve birth outcomes. One way they do this is to help practices use data dashboards to promote timely intervention when there are changes in a mother’s key health indicator, such as blood pressure, which is known to impact a baby’s birth weight. The Practice Facilitators can assist practices to identify and follow up on missed appointments and tests that are recommended for pregnant moms. Timely intervention, along with recognizing and addressing care gaps, can significantly help reduce the chances of delivering a low birth weight baby which in turn reduces chances of a baby dying or having ongoing developmental and chronic health problems.
Members of the NC AHEC team.
North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA)
The NC Health Information Exchange Authority was made by the state of North Carolina to facilitate the creation of a modernized health information exchange (HIE) to better serve NC’s health care providers and their patients. A health information exchange (HIE) is a secure, electronic network that gives authorized health care providers the ability to access and share health-related information across a statewide information highway. For our project, the NC HIEA will help create our data interventions, the Perinatal Equity Dashboard and the Maternal Warning System, and will be involved in collecting data for analysis.
Team members from the: NC HIEA.
Stakeholder Advisory Accountability Board Leading with Equity
The ACURE4Moms study will be directed and guided by the Stakeholder Advisory Accountability Board Leading with Equity (STABLE). This group will ensure community participation in the development and progress of the ACURE4Moms study and act as an accountability partner for the Research Team. They will provide oversight on study design and dissemination and will advise on the development of material and study proceedings. STABLE will be Co-Chaired by a Research Stakeholder, Christina Yongue, and a Doula Stakeholder, Brittany Curry. STABLE includes patients of color who have experienced low birthweight (LBW) or severe maternal mortality (SMM), Community-Based Doulas, and representatives from the NC Division of Public Health, NC Women’s Health Branch, (WHB), NC Medicaid, NC Maternal Health Innovations (MHI) Provider Support Network, the Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative (GHDC), OB practices, commercial payers (BCBS/Anthem, United, Wellcare), patient advocacy groups like MomsRising, and professional organizations, like the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the NC Obstetrical & Gynecological Society.
To see the Doulas involved in the study, view the Doula Teams page.