The Los Angeles County African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Prevention Initiative (AAIMM) is set to receive the 2023 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize on Thursday, November 16. The prize celebrates communities across the country where people and organizations are collaborating to build positive solutions to barriers that have created unequal opportunities for health and wellbeing.
AAIMM is united under one purpose: to address the unacceptably high rates of Black infant and maternal deaths countywide and ensure healthy and joyous births for Black families in LA County. In Los Angeles County, a movement for Black families is leading the county forward in a way that centers joy and justice by addressing structural racism at the root of Black maternal health disparities.
“In Los Angeles County, Black women die at three to four times the rate of women of other races, and Black babies die at two to three times the rate of infants of any other race before their first birthday,” said Barbara Ferrer, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.Ed., Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Because of this initiative’s work, almost 1,000 Black individuals who have given birth and their families in Los Angeles have received:
- Free doula support
- Two culturally affirming maternity homes have been launched
- Four Community Action Teams were created to activate community-level strategies