Big box superstore Walmart, pharma giant J&J Consumer Health, and nonprofit health insurer and innovative programmer CareSource come together to make some changes for Black mothers.

These major groups specifically wanted to do something to address the waning maternal resources for Black women in Georgia: change the lack of resources, and comes after 30 labor and delivery units have closed in Georgia since 1994.

So the team came together and launched a multi-pronged pilot program in Georgia to address communities of Black women with the greatest need for maternal healthcare resources.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black women are three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related issues in the U.S. Specifically, the University of Georgia reports that the state is home to the country’s third-largest Black population and the second highest maternal mortality rate.

Based on research collected by Walmart , J&J Consumer Health and partners from community-based organizations, the program will focus on four factors: Self-care support, high-touch pregnancy care, and healthcare professional education,

First, in the category of self-care, J&J Consumer Health and CareSource’s Mom and Baby Beginnings program will continue to provide an array of maternity products, education and services specifically tailored for Black women.

Second, the organization will reach out to mothers at home via, an online resource where mothers can ask questions through one-on-one telehealth visits with healthcare professionals. The site also offers specialized maternity classes and mother support groups.

Third, the healthcare professional education piece of the program will give continuing medical education to doctors, nurses, doulas, and pharmacy technicians that are specific to their patient population. The lessons will also focus on communication skills via the program known as ME Outfitters Maternal Health.

Finally, J&J Consumer Health will continue to support health equity research conducted by Morehouse School of Medicine’s Center for Maternal Health Equity. These studies focus on the causes of health inequities among Black women.

“We are committed to making a difference in the health and wellness of our communities, offering quality care to help our customers and patients live better and healthier, right in their communities. We look forward to taking the learnings from this pilot to potentially expand into more communities in the future,” Walmart officials stated in a press release.

By Jacqueline Renfrow