Maternal and Child Health

Inadequacies and biases within the healthcare system contribute to significant challenges in maternal and child health, particularly for Black and brown women. Marginalized and disadvantaged groups face disproportionate challenges and barriers to accessing quality care including inadequate prenatal care, lack of culturally sensitive care, discrimination based on race, ethnicity, language, or immigration status. Maternal health outcomes vary significantly across different populations. Although maternal mortality in Louisville is on the decline for white women, Black women are still dying at a rate 2.5 times that of white women and Kentucky is one of the four worst states for maternal health based on mortality rate.

The Reconstruct Challenge: Maternal and Child Health is seeking to find and fund five innovative solutions that enhance cultural competence and diversity within the healthcare system, improve mental health support and resources for mothers, promote transparency, respect, for individual choices, and comprehensive explanations in healthcare, as well as alleviate economic insecurity and overcome barriers faced by pregnant individuals and caregivers. Some particular areas of interest include:

• Mental health support pre- and post-partum, including specialized resources and holistic options for mothers, both in facility and in-home

• Inadequate access to postpartum care and in-home support

• Insufficient cultural competency and diversity in healthcare staff and lack of cultural competence leading to a lack of belief in the patient at every stage and a lack of transparency in decision-making.

• Food insecurity and barriers to accessing resources like WIC, SNAP, and Medicaid benefits before, during, and after pregnancy.

• Economic insecurity, including challenges of working during pregnancy and immediately post-birth, transportation to appointments, etc.

• Fear of Child Protective Services (CPS) and lack of confidentiality leading to avoidance of seeking help and potential harm.

This Reconstruct Challenge was supported by funds made available by the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Office of Health Equity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for STLT Public Health Infrastructure and Workforce, under RFA-OT21-2103.


Supported By:

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Addressing barriers to maternal and child health

Addressing barriers to maternal and child health
Granny’s Birth Initiative
Granny's Birth Initiative strives to carry on the legacy of The Granny Midwives, ensuring black and brown birthing people have a safe birthing space as we fight the Black Infant and maternal Health Crisis and the challenges of transitioning through the penal, child welfare, and transitional housing systems.
Every Mother’s Advocate
Every Mother’s Advocate (ĒMA) envisions a world where mothers are no longer separated from their children due to preventable causes, but are equipped and empowered to raise their children in stable and nurturing homes.
Cook’s Nook
Cook’s Nook Under the banner of Cultura Cuisine, The Cook's Nook provides "food as medicine" solutions to organizations addressing the health needs of the millions of Americans who suffer from diet-related disease but lack the means and access to healthy food that would help them change course. Our diverse menu of nutritious, culturally relevant prepared meals is designed to cost-effectively improve patient health—and save payors millions of dollars in avoided medical expenses.
Melanated Healthcare
Melanated Healthcare is a digital health platform and medical practice that helps connect Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) to health professionals that share similar racial or cultural backgrounds. Our mission is to decrease health disparities by increasing access to non-discriminatory, exceptional care.
Navigate Maternity
Navigate Maternity is a cutting-edge medical device company that is revolutionizing maternal health outcomes. Our remote patient monitoring system, which includes a user-friendly mobile app and FDA-cleared Bluetooth-connected blood pressure cuff and scale, captures and transmits key biometric data from the first prenatal appointment through twelve months postpartum.


It starts with a challenge

  1. Applications received
  2. Evaluation panel reviews
  3. Top 10 applicants selected
  4. Selection committee interviews
  5. Final 5 companies selected and awarded $100,000 to bring their solutions to Louisville and Southern Indiana.

Challenge launches

June 2023

Applications due

August 10

Recipients announced

September 2023


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