N.C. Perinatal Health Strategic Plan: 2016-2020

Goal 3: Addressing Social and Economic Inequities

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 Point 9. Close the education gap

- 9A. Promote and increase access to higher education

  1. Promote enrollment of youth in foster care settings in post-secondary education
  2. Compile research on the effect of early college attendance on the achievement gap and racial / geographical disparities in post-secondary enrollment and completion rates; collaborate with key stakeholders to locate data and create document to share findings
  3. Increase the number of high quality student and family centered counseling services in middle and high schools by enhancing the cultural and geographic humility-capacity of counselors to work with students / families from all cultures and regions of the state
  4. Partner with NC Area Health Education Center’s (NC AHEC) Health Careers and Diversity Council and other key stakeholders to develop an action plan to promote awareness of health careers and academic preparation for secondary education among guidance counselors, students and parents

- 9B. Increase high school and post high school graduation rates

  1. Increase the number of high quality student and family centered counseling services (middle and high schools) by enhancing the cultural and geographic humility-capacity of counselors to work with students / families from diverse cultures and regions across the state
  2. Implement policies and promote model programs that address barriers to school attendance for high school and college pregnant and parenting students

- 9C. Expand race / ethnic / gender diversity representation in schools (administrators, faculty, and staff)

  1. Promote the teaching profession as a viable career option to underrepresented groups, non-traditional audiences (lateral entry programs) and populations through the development of social marketing and media campaigns and related efforts to identify and recruit new teachers
  2. Identify new revenue sources (e.g., tobacco products tax) and obtain legislative approval to design and implement funding mechanisms that underwrite and increase teacher/staff compensation

- 9D. Promote and increase access to early childhood education

  1. Raise awareness of the developmental and financial impacts of high quality early learning programs
  2. Increase the availability of early childhood programming to those who qualify (e.g., Early Head Start, etc.)
  3. Support the recommendations outlined in NC Institute of Medicine Essentials for Childhood report
  4. Support the recommendations of the NC Early Childhood Foundation's NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Project
  5. Promote the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success Framework

- 9E. Disrupt the school to prison pipeline, beginning with pre-school

  1. Raise awareness of implicit bias
  2. Support policies that require training on implicit bias for education staff
  3. Advocate for disaggregated data collection and reporting for school suspension
  4. Promote the use of EB positive social behavior and discipline strategies in all school settings
  5. Provide developmentally appropriate services to justice involved youth by raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 16 to 18

 Point 10. Reduce poverty among families

- 10A. Learn, collaborate, and partner with organizations, agencies, and institutes that focus on poverty reduction

  1. Collaborate and partner with the following organizations and agencies that are already engaged and / or leading poverty reduction initiatives and activities across the state such as NC Community Action Association and NC Child

- 10B. Formulate and / or enhance ways that data can be collected to comprehensively track on how living in poor or near poor homes and communities affects health outcomes over the life course

  1. Collaborate and partner with the following organizations and agencies that are already engaged and / or leading poverty reduction initiatives and activities across the state such as NC Community Action Association and NC Child

- 10C. Recommend and support legislation of a livable wage and equity in compensation

  1. Collaborate and partner with the following organizations and agencies that are already engaged and / or leading poverty reduction initiatives and activities across the state such as NC Community Action Association and NC Child

- 10D. Standardize poverty reduction strategies into systems, services, and programs

  1. Expand effective financial literacy curriculums in services and programs for families by integrating consistent use of evidence-based financial literacy curriculum, e.g., Bridges Out of Poverty
  2. Collaborate with organizations / advocates that work to stop predatory lending to low-income families and to repeal the NC food tax

 Point 11. Support working mothers and families

- 11A. Create and expand paid parental and sick leave policies

  1. Identify research that other states have done to create policies through key informant interviews (including work done by National Partnership for Women and Families and through university business schools)
  2. Promote the evidence base around policies to promote paid parental (mothers, fathers, partners) leave and sick leave (disability insurance / act)
  3. Create and expand safe work place environments and accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding women; develop policy recommendations around safe work environments and identify models of excellence

- 11B. Increase affordable, available, and accessible high quality child care

  1. Identify and publish geographic gaps to inform policies and guide future funding decisions of high quality child care centers
  2. Identify and engage in ongoing efforts with other state and national partners to expand access to high quality child care for low wage working families

- 11C. Increase support for breastfeeding

  1. Promote expansion and regulation for the Business Case for Breastfeeding model by integrating policies and best practice standards in labor laws and work place policies
  2. Train a diverse workforce to support breastfeeding (e.g., clinical, peer support); identify resources for scholarships to train diverse resources; incorporate training and resources in state programs; promote linkages between community health workers and clinical professionals; credentialing
  3. Locate resources to compensate a diverse workforce to support breastfeeding; compile research on funding models in other states; develop and submit request to support increase in reimbursement

- 11D. Create safe work place and incarceration environments for women

  1. Make all public workplaces in North Carolina smoke free
  2. Provide tobacco cessation services through employee health benefits packages
  3. Improve the quality of perinatal care for incarcerated women
  4. Work with employers and payers to offer evidence-based tobacco cessation services for their employees or members at no cost (ACA requirement)

 Point 12. Undo racism

- 12A. Infuse and incorporate equity in the delivery of health services

  1. Support and fund a fully functioning NC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities to promote and implement this plan in all local health departments, rural services, and CBOs receiving any funds from NC DHHS
  2. Engage and employ consumers of our programs, services, and initiatives in the planning, design, and implementation of health delivery services
  3. Collaborate with stakeholders working specifically on addressing disparities in perinatal health to build on community health assessment process to identify needs and goals
  4. Build and strengthen trust in communities by engaging community health workers that are from the community that is being served
  5. Promote use of the NC Health Equity Impact Assessment.

- 12B. Promote high quality training about institutional and structural racism and its impact on poor communities and communities of color

  1. Partner with NC Racial Equity Institute/Open Source/People’s Institute, etc. to expand their training across the state by providing funding, support, and access to partner database
  2. Partner with NC AHEC to include health equity training within the standard curriculum for medical, nursing, and other healthcare professional students

- 12C. Modify and change policies and practices to address institutional and structural racism

  1. Collaborate with and fund outside consulting services that have a strong record in systems change and implementing health equity such as Community Catalyst
  2. Formally collaborate/partner with entities such as the North Carolina Chapter of the National Diversity Council and NC AHEC in diversifying healthcare leadership in local areas to reflect the communities they service
  3. Promote policies that enforce collecting health disparities data and developing data dashboards to be implemented in all hospitals in NC by partnering with the NC Hospital Association

- 12D. Promote community and systems dialog and discussion on racism

  1. Collaborate with and incorporate dramatic arts in the dissemination of “issues” to encourage dialogue across systems
  2. Partner with existing organizations and collaboratives that are working to address racism to create opportunities for discussion across systems


Perinatal Health Strategic Plan

Last Modified: February 20, 2019