March of Dimes is enhancing its efforts to raise awareness towards bias in maternal and infant health.

According to a press release, the nonprofit organization has announced new changes to its implicit bias training, Awareness to Action: Dismantling Bias in Maternal and Infant Healthcare, designed for professionals and students in healthcare. The program aims to remove inequities plaguing maternal and infant health. According to recent data from the 2021 March of Dimes Report Card Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women had disproportionate health outcomes in comparison to their white counterparts.

“Every person has some level of unconscious bias, but unchecked stereotyping or negative biases about a group of patients can foster misplaced beliefs and lead to poor decision making by providers,” said Dr. Zsakeba Henderson , Senior Vice President and Interim Chief Medical and Health Officer, according to a press release. “Knowledge and behavior change are the first steps to ensuring better patient-provider communication and improving the quality of care that moms and babies receive. We believe all families should have the opportunity to have the best possible birth experience and start to life.”

Training Will Inspire A Shift In Maternal Health Industry

Trainees can choose between a 1.5 hour e-learning module or opt for an in person session lasting three to four hours. Topics will include Define Implicit Bias, Describe Structural Racism, Apply Strategies, and Commit to a Culture of Equity. The training will expose the challenges and necessities for mothers seeking maternal care. Once the course is complete, medical professionals and students will have greater knowledge on how to integrate quality care for mothers.

March of Dimes hopes the newfound knowledge will send a shift in the maternal health industry to achieve its overarching goal to ensure equity is at the forefront of medical practice. Already over 35,000 providers in 30 states have completed its implicit bias training.