The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded Yanica Faustin, PhD, a two-year grant to research and address racial disparities in Black maternal health. Faustin is an assistant professor of public health studies at Elon University in North Carolina.

The Health Equity Scholars for Action initiative supports academic researchers who come from historically underrepresented backgrounds. The $260,000 grant will support Faustin’s research into health equity and the structural barriers Black mothers experience.

“This topic is so near and dear to my heart, and it’s part of my life’s work to improve maternal health,” Faustin said in an Elon University news release. “To win a grant for work that is so important to me and to win a grant of this size is really overwhelming to me.”

Faustin intends to add to existing evidence regarding health disparities experienced by Black women during pregnancy, such as maternal mortality, which is three times higher in Black women compared with white women.

Faustin will work in collaboration with Life of Hope, a community-based health care organization in Brooklyn, and OB-GYN Christina Pardo, MD, MPH, Life of Hope’s deputy director.

By conducting interviews with up to 40 Black women who live in New York City, Faustin aims to determine whether there are any differences in health outcomes between Black women born in the United States and those who have immigrated from another country.

“We have had many research reports come through, and yet the gap between Black mothers and white mothers persists,” Faustin said. “The hope is that we can influence policy and practice with this research.”

To read more, click #Pregnancy or #Health Equity. There, you’ll find headlines such as “Being Black and Pregnant in the Deep South Can Be a Dangerous Combination,” “Can Family Doctors Deliver Rural America From Its Maternal Health Crisis?” and “Women and Minorities Bear the Brunt of Medical Misdiagnosis.”