SARAH VERBIEST

Looking Forward , Sarah Verbiest, founder of Every Woman Southeast, reflects on the new year and what it holds.

For the past few weeks the Every Woman Southeast Coalition’s leadership team has been working to finalize its goals, logic model and action plan. As we’ve thought deeply about what needs to happen in the Southeast to truly improve the health of mothers and babies, we agree that change will only come when we take on the hard issues. These include the social determinants of health, policy issues that impact our communities, leadership development, and racism. That’s enough to make your head swim!

But doing the business the way we always have doesn’t cut it – especially in these difficult times. The Life Course Model is a new paradigm in the field of maternal and child health that has the potential to change our practice. This model offers a new way of looking at health, not as disconnected stages (infancy, latency, adolescence, childbearing years, menopause and beyond) unrelated to each other, but as an integrated continuum. This perspective suggests that a complex interplay of biological, behavioral, psychological, social and environmental factors contribute to health outcomes across the course of a person’s life (thank you to Drs Pies, Kotelchuck, Lu and Ms Parthasarathy for the quote).

We want to figure out how to put this model into practice – here at home. Want to learn more? Check out the MCH Lifecourse Toolkit website from CityMatCH. They have excellent resources! We’ll be posting our plan just as soon as its done – we’ll be sure to let you know!

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