This project is funded under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Research in Transforming Health and Health Care Systems (RTHS) program, which supports policy-relevant, community-engaged research on current or potential policies to transform health and health care systems. The goal of the study is to understand the impact of the Maryland Medicaid Doula Program (MMDP) on affordability of doula care and perinatal experiences and outcomes for Black birthing parents and infants. The study seeks to explore how the MMDP affects out-of-pocket costs and utilization of doula services among Medicaid-insured birthing parents; document the experiences of birthing parents, doulas, and policy and practice leaders with the program; and analyze how the doula benefit affects racial perinatal health disparities. In their mixed-methods approach, the study team will analyze out-of-pocket costs and outcomes using Medicaid claims data and conduct key informant interviews to contextualize the quantitative findings with insights about affordability and utilization of doula services. The research team, composed of a partnership between a research institute and a community-based birth workers organization, will convene a community advisory board to guide the project and host community forums to solicit feedback on the research strategy from the community of focus and share results. Deliverables will include a project work plan and annual and final narrative and financial reports, as well as a range of products to reach policymakers and other audiences for study findings.

Principal Investigator(s)

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Jessica Galarraga, M.D., M.P.H.

Physician Investigator - MedStar Health Research Institute

Jessica Galarraga, MD, MPH is a Physician Investigator in Health Systems & Policy Research at the MedStar Heal... Read Bio

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Andrea Williams-Muhammad

Co-Founder - Nzuri Malkia Birth Cooperative & Family Wellness Center

Andrea Williams-Muhammad is a community organizer, public health advocate, wife and mother from Baltimore, Mar... Read Bio

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Leigh Goetschius, Ph.D.

Data Scientist Advanced - The Hilltop Institute

Leigh Goetschius is a data scientist advanced on the Analytics and Research team at The Hilltop Institute, whe... Read Bio

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MaryAnn Mood, M.A.

Senior Policy Analyst - The Hilltop Institute

MaryAnn Mood is a senior policy analyst on the Aging and Disability Studies team at The Hilltop Institute, whe... Read Bio

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Karey M. Sutton, Ph.D.

Scientific Director for Health Equity Research - MedStar Health Research Institute

Karey M. Sutton is the Scientific Director for Health Equity Research at the MedStar Health Research Institute. Read Bio