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Topics > Reducing Health Disparities Initiative > What We Are Doing > Latinas, African-Americans Get Less Early-Term Prenatal Care

Latinas, African-Americans Get Less Early-Term Prenatal Care

Health Conductor Ublanca Adams; Promotora Angelica Matamoros; Connie James, manager, and Health Conductor Evelyn Dodson, left to right, work at the Bay Point Family Health Center.

Latinas and African-American women living in Contra Costa are less likely to receive prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy compared to white and Asian women. The percentage of Latinas who receive care in the first trimester is 82% and for African-Americans the percentage is 84% compared to 94% for white women and 91% for Asian/Pacific Islander.

In addition to outreach and education through our Family, Maternal and Child Health Programs (FMCH) and other programs and divisions, CCHS is enlisting the help of community members to reach pregnant Latina and African- American women.

For Latinas, we enlisted the help of our Promotoras, community women who speak Spanish and are specially trained as peer educators. A $50,000 grant from UCSF funded a pilot project last year using the Promotoras to focus on increasing and improving prenatal care for Latina women in Bay Point, Brentwood and Pittsburg.

Concepcion Trevino James manages the Promotoras program and said the project showed that many pregnant Latinas weren't aware of available services.

"Our Promotoras went out to the different communities and talked to pregnant women, and one of the biggest barriers to Latinas accessing prenatal care was the lack of information about what health benefits they can get," she said.

The Promotoras have been so successful in raising awareness about access to healthcare, as well as building trust of healthcare providers in our system that the notion of expanding their number is being considered, said Jose Martin, our Reducing Health Disparities Initiative Leader.

"Promotoras serve as a bridge to the community. We're using the program as a model to reach other groups in our county," Jose said.

Connie also manages the new African-American Health Conductors project, developed to address the needs of the county's African-American community, with the help of fellow staff Suzette Johnson, Debra Card, Jean Walker Johnson, Tiombe Mashama, Donna Vann and Itika Greene. "They help guide me and help me to be authentic," Connie said.

The project is just starting with two Health Conductors at Bay Point Health Center, Evelyn Dodson and Ublanca Adams.

FMCH also has been reaching out to pregnant African-American women through the Black Infant Health (BIH) Program, which is conducted by the Perinatal Council to help train providers to give home-based case management to pregnant African-Americans, providing education and resources to improve birth outcomes.

Similarly, Prenatal Care Guidance Program (PCG) provides outreach and case management to pregnant, high risk low-income women, particularly Latinas and African-Americans. PCG has shifted more of its focus to assisting with increasingly complicated Medi-Cal applications. FMCH also has recruited providers who serve low-income women during the application process to help pregnant women get temporary health insurance coverage through Access to Presumptive Eligibility (PE) coverage, temporary insurance for pregnancy. This way pregnant women don't have to wait on the Medical appointment before going to the doctor.

Let us know how you like the new RHDI page. Contact Kate Fowlie via email at or call 925-313-6832.

Content provided by the Reducing Health Disparities Initiative.

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