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    ROCC Member Spotlight: Wendy Lane, MD, MPH

    Wendy Lane, MD, MPH serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland and serves as Medical Director at the Baltimore Child Abuse Center.  Dr. Lane was recently appointed as the Co-Director of the Program in Health Disparities and Population Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Lane was recently awarded funding from the AAMC/Donaghue award as the Principal Investigator for B’more for Healthy Babies Upton/Druid Heights, a community-based and community-engaged intervention to improve birth outcomes.  Download Dr. Lane’s ROCCStar Profile.

    Please describe the overall aim for the initiative B’more for Healthy Babies, as well as the specific outcome measures for its expansion to the Mondawmin neighborhood.

    The goal of B’more for Healthy Babies Mondawmin is to improve birth outcomes for women residing in the Mondawmin neighborhood of West Baltimore. We hypothesize that our intervention will lead to earlier entry into prenatal care, improvements in maternal health during pregnancy, a reduction in preterm births, and a reduction in neonatal intensive care (NICU) hospitalizations. Specific outcomes to be examined include: (1) birth outcomes including early entry into prenatal care, term deliveries, and newborn hospitalization costs; (2) Maternal outcomes including substance use, depression and anxiety symptoms, and social support; and (3) Community level knowledge and awareness about birth outcomes. We will also examine the program’s effect on medical trainees by assessing changes in their knowledge,

    Please describe the study design, strategy, and data sources for the project.

    We will be expanding the B’more for Healthy Babies Upton/Druid Heights (BHB-U/DH) program to the Mondawmin Neighborhood using a community-based participatory research model, and working with several community partners including the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council, DRU-Mondawmin Healthy Start (a community-based home visiting program), and Total Health Care, a neighborhood-based Federally Qualified Health Center. BHB-U/DH is part of the citywide B’more for Healthy Babies (BHB) initiative to improve birth outcomes implemented by the Baltimore City Health Department the Family League of Baltimore City, and many other partners. To supplement the citywide campaign, place based initiatives were funded in 2 very high risk neighborhoods, one of which was Upton/Druid Heights.

    Specific program components will include community-based messaging and outreach to pregnant women and other community members, education about healthy pregnancy and child care, and service provision. We currently use Resource Moms, lay community health workers, for much of the community-based work. In addition to conducting community outreach, the Resource Moms lead parent groups including Pre and Post-natal Mom’s Clubs. Resource Moms can also provide breastfeeding and parenting support, and can assess the needs of individual women and help link them to services.

    The interventions are designed to change knowledge, attitudes, and behavior for the community as a whole, in addition to improving birth outcomes for pregnant women. Therefore, we will be evaluating our program at the Population, Individual, and Community Levels. We will not have a control-group, so we will be comparing community-level outcomes to those of similar Baltimore City neighborhoods. Population-level outcomes will include rates of preterm births and first trimester entry into prenatal care. We will also measure the average NICU cost per birth. Individual level outcomes will include maternal depression and anxiety symptoms, drug and alcohol use and abuse, social support, and self-efficacy. We will also examine community knowledge and attitudes regarding the ability to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

    Describe the collaborative partnership with the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council. How was this partnership started?

    Bronwyn Mayden and Jackie Caldwell from the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council have known each other for many years through their work in West Baltimore.  However, it was only in the past two years that they began collaborating.  For the past two years, the School of Social Work’s Promise Heights’ initiative has received funds from the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF).  The funds are for summer programs in the PH Community Schools.  During calls and emails with their AECF Program Officer, inquiries were made about other programs in the PH continuum.   The Program Officer was very interested in BHB and how such a program could be expanded to the Greater Mondawmin Community that is adjacent to Upton/Druid Heights, and encouraged the collaboration to form BHB-Mondawmin.