With support of the TD Charitable Foundation, Prisma Health is developing a program to improve maternal and birth outcomes for Black mothers by pairing them with doulas for support through the birthing process.
The innovative pilot program is funded by a $125,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank. Modeled after similar interventions in North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the program is expected to launch by early summer. Women receiving prenatal care through any Prisma Health provider will be able to submit applications at that time.
Doulas provide non-medical support by providing encouragement, advocacy and comfort measures before, during and immediately after birth. Clinical studies show this kind of additional support may result in shorter labors with fewer complications, fewer interventions, a greater success with breast feeding and an overall feeling of a more positive birth.
“Every year in South Carolina, more than 12,000 women choose to give birth in a Prisma Health hospital. What an honor for us as a health care team, and, with that, what a responsibility we have to do everything in our power to help them achieve the health outcomes they deserve,” said Dr. Kacey Eichelberger, chair of the Prisma Health Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Upstate.
“Black women across the U.S. experience a disproportionate rate of adverse health outcomes, including those around childbirth. If increasing access to trained birth partners such as doulas can mitigate that risk at all, we are committed to trying. Given the scale of Prisma Health, our geographic reach and our team’s investment in quality improvement and health equity, we are uniquely positioned to partner with patients to test interventions that may improve health disparities for Black birthing mothers,” said Eichelberger. “We are deeply grateful to the TD Charitable Foundation for sharing our vision for equitable health care.”
“TD Bank is proud to support Prisma Health in its work to alleviate maternal health disparities in South Carolina,” said David Lominack, South Carolina market president, TD Bank. “This pilot program strongly aligns with both organizations’ commitment to supporting equitable health outcomes for all through investments in research, technology and innovative solutions. We look forward to seeing the program’s positive impact on individuals and families across the Upstate and Midlands.”
With this initial pilot program, the Prisma Health program will serve up to 100 patients across the Prisma Health footprint by providing grants to offset the cost of doula services in the prenatal, intrapartum, and/or postpartum settings. Each patient will choose her own doula. Funds will be distributed from Prisma Health directly to the doula of the patient’s choice and will be distributed proportionally across all birthing hospitals to ensure Black women in all communities served by Prisma Health have an opportunity to participate.
More details about the pilot program will be available in the coming months.
About Prisma Health
Prisma Health is a private nonprofit health company and the largest healthcare organization in South Carolina. The company has 29,750 team members, 18 acute and specialty hospitals, 2,827 beds, 300 outpatient sites, and more than 5,300 employed and independent clinicians across its clinically integrated inVio Health Network. Along with this innovative network, Prisma Health serves almost 1.5 million unique patients annually in its 21-county market area that covers 50% of South Carolina. Prisma Health’s goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals. Learn more at PrismaHealth.org.
About the TD Charitable Foundation
The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing over 9.8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,100 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed over $292 million through donations to local nonprofits from Maine to Florida. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation is available at https://www.tdbank.com/corporate-responsibility/the-ready-commitment/funding-opportunities/.