This project increases BIPOC workforce capacity, and access to healthcare and social support for pregnant and new families in South King County—populations that bear the highest burden of disparities in access and outcomes in their healthcare.
With this project, Rainier Valley Midwives (RVM) seeks to significantly improve maternal and child health outcomes among women and babies of color in the Rainier Valley. Serious disparities in health outcomes for families of color speak to the lingering vestiges of institutional racism – nationally and in King County – that negatively impact the health of women and babies.
OBJECTIVE 1: INCREASE DELIVERIES AND PERINATAL SERVICES:
This project will provide an additional 50 Birth Bundles to serve a total of 100 clients, which is double what RVM served last year. Grant funds will provide funding to support 50% of this expansion project. RVM will use grant funds toward increasing the team of midwives, birth doulas, postpartum doulas, midwifery prenatal care and lactation support for this increased number of clients. Expanding services to 100 clients would be an absolute game-changer in improving health care outcomes among immigrants, refugees and BIPOC communities in South Seattle.
OBJECTIVE 2: EXPAND SOCIAL WORK SUPPORT:
RVM will hire a full time Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (0.8 FTE) and will direct $35,400 of grant funding to cover 50% of this position (starting in Q2 of the project). RVM will hire a social worker who has deep life experience in BIPOC communities with the intent of providing culturally and linguistically relevant counseling, support, and resource referral to our families via individual sessions and in support groups. The social worker will also work with our Community Engagement Coordinator to conduct focused outreach to local BIPOC communities in Rainier Valley and throughout Southeast Seattle to increase awareness and knowledge about RVM’s services and resources.
OBJECTIVE 3: INCREASE PROFESSIONAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR BIPOC MIDWIFERY TRAINEES
Grant funds will support midwifery trainees with close cultural alignment and life experiences with BIPOC communities RVM serves. Near-licensure student midwives are required to do a one year of unpaid internship as part of their schooling. The program ensures that they not only learn clinical skills, but are mentored in public health engagement, advocacy work at the city, county, state, and national level, leadership skills, and community engagement. However, as these required internships are unpaid, this is a critical driver in the dearth of BIPOC students who reach licensure in this field. The two Lead Student Midwife positions are designed to support and lift future leaders.
South Seattle Women’s Health Foundation
Rainier Valley Community Clinic is home to Rainier Valley Midwives, both sponsored by the South Seattle Women's Health Foundation, which is dedicated to creating spaces for high quality, individualized perinatal care and increasing capacity within the community for jobs in the healthcare industry for local women, especially those of color and immigrant women.
The South Seattle Women's Health Foundation envisions a world where all women and families have equitable access to high quality culturally relavent eduaction-based healthcare. In this vision, local pioneers in the healthcare field partner with the families they serve to promote the best health of their communities. The South Seattle Women's Health Foundation provides exceptional direct care to women and families to improve health outcomes including traditionally underserved communities. Their programs increase job capacity for providers of color and our services are based on community-identified needs.