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Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division

Perinatal Equity Initiative

African American family

In June 2018, recognizing the continued statewide gap in Black infant mortality, the Governor signed legislation establishing the California Perinatal Equity Initiative (PEI) within the California Department of Public Health. While significant declines in infant mortality have been achieved, the rate of mortality among Black infants continues to be two to four times higher than the rates for other groups statewide.

Taking Action

The establishment of PEI will address the causes of persistent inequality and identify best practices to deal with disparities in infant mortality. PEI will promote the use of specific interventions designed to fill gaps in current programming offered through the Black Infant Health (BIH) Group Model.

The legislation also provides funding to county health departments to promote leadership and coordination for widespread and lasting change in public awareness and in public health and clinical practice.

Planning Grants

By the end of 2018, Planning Grants will be awarded to the 13 county health departments currently operating BIH programs for the purpose of improving Black infant birth outcomes and reducing infant mortality.

The following outlines the key elements of the Planning Grant:

  • Conduct an environmental scan to identify gaps in perinatal health care and community services

  • Attend State-hosted Community Engagement Meetings

  • Establish local Perinatal Health Equity Community Advisory Boards

  • Engage hospital partners to conduct Black preterm birth chart reviews and focus groups with moms who delivered preterm to gain a deeper understanding of perinatal health care before, during and after delivery

  • Develop and implement a public health awareness campaign to bring focus to maternal and infant health disparities

See PEI grant funding distribution (PDF) for details.

Alameda County Public Health Department           
(888) 604-4636 (Toll Free)

Kiko Malin, MPCAH Director
1000 Broadway, Suite 500
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 208-5979 (Phone)
(510) 267-3270 (Fax) (Email)

Contra Costa Health Services
(800) 696-9644 (Toll Free)

Lorena Martinez-Ochoa, MCAH Director
597 Center Avenue, Suite 365
Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 313-6951 (Phone)
(925) 313-6708 (Fax) (Email)

Fresno Department of Public Health
(800) 640-0333 (Toll Free)

Rose Mary Rahn, RN BSN, MCAH Director, Division Manager
PO Box 11867
Fresno, CA 93775
(559) 600-6340 (Phone) (Email)


Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
(800) 427-8700 (Toll Free)

Linda Aragon, MPH, MCAH Director
600 South Commowealth Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 639-6400 (Phone) (Email)

Riverside County Department of Public Health    
(800) 794-4814 (Toll Free)

Hermia Parks, PHN, Director of Public Health Nursing and MCAH Director
4065 County Circle Drive, Suite 208
Riverside, CA 92503
(951) 358-5516 (Phone)
(951) 358-4762 (Fax) (Email)

Sacramento Health and Human Services
(888) 824-2229 (Toll Free)

Leesa Hooks, RN, BSN, Interim MCAH Director
9616 Micron Avenue, Suite 950
Sacramento, CA 95827
916.875.7911 (Phone)
(916) 875-0860 (Fax) (Email)

San Bernardino County Department of Public Health
(800) 227-3034 (Toll Free)

Vanessa Long, RN, PHN, MSN, MCAH Co-Director/Public Health Manager
606 East Mills Street
San Bernardino, CA 92415
(909) 383-3021 (Phone)
(909) 388-0111 (Fax) (Email)

San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency
(800) 675-2229 (Toll Free)

Thomas R. Coleman, M.D., M.S.
3851 Rosecrans Street, Suite 522, MS: P511H
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 692-8819 (Phone)
(619) 692-8827 (Fax) (Email)

San Francisco Department of Public Health      
(800) 300-9950 (Toll Free)

Mary J. Hansell, DrPH, PHN, MCAH Director
30 Van Ness Ave, Ste 260
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 575-5671 (Phone) (Email)

County of Santa Clara Public Health Department
(800) 310-2332 (Toll Free)

Rhoda Blankenship, PHNM II , MCAH Director
1993B McKee Road
San Jose, CA 95116
(408) 937-2266 (Phone)
(408) 937-2252 (Fax) (Email)

San Joaquin County Public Health Services 
(800) 698-2304 (Toll Free)

Michelle Scott, MCAH Director
P.O. Box 2009
Stockton, CA, 95201
(209) 468-3050 (Phone)

As outlined in the Legislation, counties participating in the Perinatal Equity Initiative shall create a local community grant program and use funding for the following purposes:

  • Evidence-based or evidence-informed group prenatal care

  • Pregnancy intentionality, preconception and interconception care

  • Fatherhood or partnership initiatives

  • Evidence-based or evidence-informed home visitation programs (inclusive of case management)

  • Other (a strategy not identified above, but based on local needs and resources such as the inclusion of mental health and/or other wrap around services including but not limited to assessment, personalized case management, doulas, patient navigator, access to evidence-based interventions that reduce preterm birth and infant mortality, etc.)

Community Engagement Meetings

As a first step toward implementing the PEI, Community Engagement Meetings have been scheduled to gather from our county partners their input and perspectives on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that affect the quality of health for African-American women and infants. 

Community Engagement Meetings are designed to hear directly from community partners including, local Black Infant health programs, Local home visiting programs, social service programs; and other relevant local community groups and interested stakeholders.



Setting the Stage:

  • Black Health Status
  • Current Program Efforts
  • Perinatal Equity Initiative Legislation and Timeline

Results-Based Accountability Framework


Facilitated Group Discussion – Interventions

  • Group Prenatal Care
  • Preconception and Interconception Health
  • Fatherhood (partners) Initiatives
  • Home Visitation
  • Innovative Interventions: Doulas, Patient Navigator, Preterm Birth Strategies, Combining Social and Medical Interventions

Questions and Comments

All interested participants must register to attend the meeting per their respective county location/Local Health Jurisdiction. Seating is limited, but if you would like to register, click on the link below or contact If you are unable to attend and/or would like to share your thoughts and ideas, please click here to take a brief Community Engagement Survey.

Questions? Contact Us

Call the MCAH Division at (866) 241‑0395

Physical address:

Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division
1615 Capitol Ave, Suite 73.560
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing address:

Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division
PO Box 997420, MS 8300
Sacramento, CA 95899-7420


(916) 650-0305


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