Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. is pleased to share that Gail Ross, Project Director for the Health Center’s infant mortality reduction initiative – Omaha Healthy Start (OHS), co-authored a manuscript titled “Women’s Perspectives of Needs Surrounding Adverse Birth Outcomes – A Qualitative Assessment of the Neighborhood Impact of Adverse Birth Outcomes”. The manuscript was submitted for publication in the Journal of Women’s Health on May 17, 2016. The research for the manuscript was completed while Ms. Ross served as a consultant with the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a Community Health Advocacy Leader with the Connections Project. The Connections Project was a grassroots outreach-research partnership between the North Omaha community, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and state and county personnel. The project was lead by Jack Turman, Jr., Ph.D., Professor and Program Director of Physical Therapy Education Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Turman is now the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Indiana State University.
The manuscript describes the results of a qualitative needs assessment survey of women with varying levels of birthing experience. The survey measured the time these women spent living in their neighborhood, and their overall community involvement. Individual in-depth, in person, and telephone interviews were used to collect information on the perceptions of birth outcomes, neighborhood resources for pregnant women, and neighborhood strengths and weaknesses. This study revealed the power of direct conversations with women impacted by adverse birth outcomes. The study further revealed that women impacted by adverse birth outcomes must be primary partners in any effort to implemented to improve birth outcomes. In addition to Ms. Ross and Dr. Turman, the Connections Project leadership team also included Ms. Thelma Sims, Kellee Hanigan, DPT., UNMC postdoctoral researcher and Kathy J. Trotter, Coordinator of the Single Parent/Displaced Homemaker Program at Metropolitan Community College.