2022 Grants Challenge

Maternal/Infant Health Support Services for Historically Oppressed Groups, Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California

Our Mommy Matters wraparound service is a multidisciplinary outpatient maternal, infant and family support initiative. We provide mental and physical health care for young pregnant women and their families. We seek to increase positive birth experiences, birth outcomes, and healthier families in communities.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Support for Foster and Systems-Impacted Youth

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

San Gabriel Valley

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

San Gabriel Valley African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Black Maternal Mental Health (SGV AAIMM BMMH) Support Group with TPF provide mental health services that are culturally competent in San Gabriel Valley & Los Angeles County. The mental health crisis has worsened throughout the pandemic and has created isolation for many new and expecting moms and exacerbated pre-existing mental health concerns. This support group is a critical need for new, expecting, and new-again moms. Babies born in the United States are almost two times more likely to die than babies born in similar countries. LA County Department of Public Health data shows that more than half of Blacks in LA County have experienced some form of discrimination. LA County Black mothers have been dying four times more than other mothers and Black babies have been dying three times more than the average rate for all babies. San Gabriel Valley Black infant mortality rates are twice that of White infant mortality rates.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Mommy Matters addresses barriers that inhibit access to positive birth and early childhood experiences for historically oppressed groups with special attention to Black women and their families. This program seeks to increase outreach efforts to destigmatize mental health treatment and improve birth outcomes and healthier family functioning. We do this with holistic and traditional mental health interventions, family enrichment activities, daddy and mama doula support, and psychoeducation. Our program seeks to educate and provide opportunities to practice coping strategies that build resilience and decrease the high frequency of maladaptive health outcomes. Mommy Matters takes a three-pronged approach to achieve these goals with a Support Squad consisting of occupational therapists, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, acupuncturists, etc. Occupational therapy check in regularly and help clients get necessary medicine, transportation, and resource provisions, including food and housing and life skills building where necessary. Upon graduation from our program, adults can become Peer Mentors/Community Service Leader to mentor other Mommy Matters participants, and can gain employment with TPF. Follow up care is administered through community outreach and engagement centered around self-care, village building and holistic and innovative forms of group healing as treatment for toxic stress and race based trauma.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

TPF plans to decrease the infant/maternal mortality rate in the largest county in the nation, Los Angeles County. This will in turn eliminate single-parent or orphaned households which will end cyclical poverty. We hope that other municipalities will follow suit and embark on efforts to end Black infant/maternal mortality. Our organization confidently believes that we can increase engagement with children, families, and adults in naturally occurring settings to expand the reach of preventive care throughout Los Angeles County’s diverse communities. This program will help create stigma-free environments, develop client skills sets and promote the wellbeing of the teams and communities we work with and, will dismantle systemic racism and strengthen the roots of economic, physical, social and political opportunities that will enable Black families and community based organizations serving them to grow and thrive.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

We measure program and service impact with monthly reports of our intakes, therapy notes, retention rates versus exit interviews and pre/post surveys. We also follow up with previous clients annually to measure how they are doing mentally and physically. Stable clients are always invited to events and offered opportunities to help and give testimonies. Review of these stats indicate if we are on track to meeting our goals. If it is found that we are declining in a indicative area, our Black female clinicians and executive leadership team meet to discuss how we can quickly pivot our approach towards Black females. Stats for the following months are reviewed after changes are made and we keep our finger on the pulse of our clients progress.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 5,000

Indirect Impact: 50,000