Over the last 4 years as a founder and CEO of Maternity Neighborhood, I have met countless people who are focused on changing the US maternity care system. The single unifying factor I’ve noticed is (put simply) we all love what we do.
Love is also at the core of the mother-baby dyad, and I am inspired to see how many of us have given ourselves over to the mission of improving the circumstances that surround each mother on her journey. Not everyone gets to build things that people “love”, it is a privilege and an honor to continuously explore how we can help our users love our products, continue to love what they do, and support compassionate and loving relationships within the families they serve.
Love for mothers really shines through in a new organization formed in 2015, Square Roots. Just take a look at their marketing video and you can see that founders, Morad Fareed and Richard Gephardt, really get it…mothers are central to all that we hold sacred. Square Roots is on a journey and has gathered an extensive list of thought partners and advisors. In fact, I am honored to have accepted an invitation to join their advisory board, taking on the daunting task of representing “alternative maternity care models” in discussions with the board and other strategic partners.
One key strategic partner for Square Roots is the Clinton Foundation. With a number of healthcare delivery projects in some of the most underserved communities in the US, the Clinton Foundation and Square Roots are well aligned to tackle some of the heavy lifting around policy and scale for true change for our nation’s mothers.
My Square Roots board appointment also came with an invitation to attend the Clinton Foundation Health Matters Activation Summit this weekend (Jan 24-25). The Square Roots board will join 500 health care leaders who are convening to better understand community health and how it can disrupt health care for the better. I am excited for the networking opportunity and the conversations that will hopefully be initiated.
Beyond the potential bucket list item of having a world leader ask me my opinion (I will be sure to pull a Kanye and “drop the mic” after my response), I am humbled by the chance to represent the profession of midwifery and help with knowledge translation in a way that changes misunderstandings and negative assumptions about persistent yet innovative “alternative maternity care models” in the US.
My plan is to arrive with an open heart and to recognize integrity and best intention among those who are trying to better understand the issues that I value. I hope to be able to remind everyone that when we empower women to deeply and successfully bond and care for their babies, the path to transformation will emerge.