Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Pregnancy-Related Social Support: Design Workshops With Community-Based Organizations in Greater Boston

J Public Health Manag Pract. 2022 Jan-Feb;28(Suppl 1):S66-S69. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001438.


Community-based organizations are uniquely positioned to address critical gaps in social support that contribute to inequities in maternal health. Using a human-centered design process, we held 3 design workshops with members of 15 organizations in Greater Boston, including community-based organizations, allied hospital systems, and public health departments, to assess proposed solutions for gaps in social support services during pregnancy and the first year after childbirth. The workshops focused on solutions to problems that emerged from a mixed-methods research study with community-based organizations that provide social support services; workshop attendees explored facilitators and barriers to implementing solutions. Key considerations included colocation of solutions, shared ownership of program and client data, decision making about triage and referrals, and strengthening coordination of existing programs. Collaborative design workshops surfaced potential solutions to improve coordination of services, which require addressing structural and interpersonal racism in Greater Boston.

MeSH terms

  • Boston
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Public Health
  • Racial Groups*
  • Racism*