The vision for Maternity Neighborhood has always been Healthy Women, Healthy Babies. The seeds of this vision were planted in our tools for midwives, whose model of care is at the root of our workflows and features for engagement, education and decision-making. A few years ago, we started to offer our electronic health record tool to a few select community doula programs in the hope that we could adjust our award-winning platform to meet the needs of doulas, lactation specialists and other allied maternal child health workers.
Many of those programs, Ancient Song Doula Service, Uzazi Village, and HealthConnect One, to name a few, are exemplary in the important work of supporting communities of color where outcomes disparity is the most extreme. We have learned much from these programs, the most important lesson being that healthy community and healthy birth are intrinsically linked. When we can support and strengthen the systems for birth in a community, we have the opportunity to build new systems of equality and justice that will serve all of humanity.
As we learned about the rich networks of support for pregnant women, we recognized the need to work in partnership with one program to develop a comprehensive tool. One that can support diverse maternal child health programs that incorporate more than doula services, but also provide holistic social and education services to meet the needs of pregnant women in underserved communities by empowering community members with the skills and knowledge necessary to support one another in birth and in life.
Our goal was not to simply provide better underlying technology and workflows for these programs, but to help develop a strategy to replicate and scale these vital services. One of the finest examples of this kind of program is Mamatoto Village in Washington, D.C. Jaffe Award-winning Mamatoto Village, founded by Executive Director Aza Nedhari, MS, and her colleague, Cassietta Pringle, provides training, management and delivery of comprehensive maternity-focused services in a community health worker model with a goal of fostering healthy individuals, families and communities. In June of 2016, we began a partnership with Mamatoto Village to design new workflows on the existing MN platform as well as a business plan to package services and technology together in an offering to Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MMCOs).
Mamatoto Village’s Aza Nedhari and I became visionary partners and have been working over the past six months to develop a shared vision for community development based in reproductive health combined with a technology platform that can track and report on these services in order to efficiently and effectively replicate and scale.
Our new tool for Maternal Child Health Programs, CareGuide Connect, launched in January with Mamatoto Village as our first user. We are excited to be working with such a comprehensive and successful program, as well the the brilliant and passionate team that Aza has recruited to help serve the greater D.C. and urban Maryland area. We look forward to sharing more exciting updates about our partnership with Mamatoto in the coming months.