Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Kathryn Cardarelli, PhD, MPH

Committee Member

Corrine Williams, ScD,ScM

Committee Member

Richard Crosby, PhD


Target Population and Need

The United States is currently the only industrialized nation in the world experiencing increasing rates of

pregnancy-related mortality.


Black women die at 3-4 times the rate of their white counterparts.


This disparity

is likely caused by the experience of systemic racism, which increases allostatic load and produces epigenetic

modifications linked to higher likelihood for poor birth outcomes. Biases perpetuated by health care providers

result in black women being less likely to receive quality healthcare and more likely to experience poor perinatal

1-7 to all pregnant women.

health outcomes.

The provision of doula-based care can mitigate these racial disparities and should be available 8

The provision of community-based doula care and health education classes provides an integrated solution for

Performance Measures and Evaluation

A post-test analysis of maternal and infant outcomes will be conducted to determine the efficacy of this intervention. A process evaluation will also be conducted during program implementation to ensure the program is being implemented with fidelity while also meeting the unique needs of the population it serves.

Capacity and Experience of the Applicant Organization

The Louisville Metro Health Department has a long-standing history of serving the Louisville Metro community to improve health and promote wellness. Implementation of the Healthy Beginnings Doula Program will continue to serve our residents to meet the needs of women and children in our community.

Partnerships and Collaboration

The HBDP will partner with local resources, such as WIC and HANDS, to ensure the needs of our program participants are met. Our Community Advisory Board will continue to work with us to maintain these partnerships and collaborate with the Louisville Metro community to ensure we are properly serving our participant base.

Project Management

Our Project Director will oversee operations of the HBDP in Jefferson County, supervise the doula staff and health educator, and work more broadly with the Health Department to maintain departmental initiatives. A Principal Investigator from the University of Louisville School of Public Health and two graduate students will be contracted to collect and analyze data.

Included in

Public Health Commons