“The Center for Black Women’s Wellness works to ensure that women have access to reproductive health services and family planning and, to a broader extent access to quality healthcare in general, so that all women can make the informed choices they need for themselves and their families. When a woman takes the opportunity to pursue her goals, work towards her own economic fulfillment, or has the time to optimize her health, she’s in a better position to have a good birth outcome.” – Jemea Dorsey, executive director, Center for Black Women’s Wellness.
We know that in the 23-county region, 9.5% of all babies are born with a low birth-weight, and 14.1% of all Black babies born in Fulton County have a low birth-weight. With low birth weight being a predictor of lower educational achievement, addressing this health equity issue is critical for children and families in the region. Family planning is critical to preventing low birthweight births and includes well-woman care, preconception care, counseling about family planning services and screening for HIV and intimate partner violence.
Over its 30 year history Center for Black Women’s Wellness has grown to address health through four focus areas: women’s health, maternal and infant health, adolescent health and youth development, and economic health and self-sufficiency as key components of social factors that directly impact a woman’s health. Through Field of Interest Funds established at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta focusing on family planning, Center for Black Women’s Wellness received funding for its work focused on family planning in 2020. Through its family planning efforts, extensive outreach and marketing efforts are key to linking uninsured women to care. Once connected to care, women participate in counseling to determine their family planning method of choice. Periodic group health education is also offered to women to increase knowledge and awareness of available family planning options and provide a forum to ask questions in a safe and supportive environment.