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Working with Diverse Populations in Maternal and Child Health

Shafia Monroe, Birthing Change - Cultural Competency

Cultural Competency Training led by Shaifa Monroe

Working with Diverse Populations in Maternal and Child Health

This training is designed to meet the unique needs of health professionals, who work in maternal and child health, in education, direct services, breastfeeding support, and who seek to build a culturally competent practice.

The Need for Cultural Competent Health Professionals and Doulas Continues to Grow

Pregnant and postpartum mothers deserve the best! Being pregnant, giving birth and parenting has parameters, based on cultural health beliefs, language, place of origin, and self-identification. Pregnant people seek understanding, respect, the desire to be understood, and to understand their health care experience.

Culturally competent health care professionals, offer health care and instructions that is respectful to the cultural of their client, using health literacy to ensure the client can understand best practices to improve their birth outcomes. Regardless of culture, everyone family wants a healthy birth experience.

What happens when cultural competent care is lacking:

  • Ethnic disparities in health outcomes
  • Barriers to access of services due to direct or indirect discrimination
  • Increased diagnostic errors resulting from miscommunication
  • Increased infant and maternal mortality and morbidity.

Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Change from 1983 to 2007

Low and Very Low Birth Weight by Maternal Race/Ethnicity, 2012

Maternal Mortality Rates, by Race/Ethnicity, 2007

The Benefits of Cultural Competency

  • Improved birth outcomes
  • Leading through lifelong learning, with courage, compassion, and cultural competency
  • Enhanced self-awareness of attitudes toward people of different racial, ethnicity and sexual orientations
  • Improved care by increasing knowledge about the cultural beliefs and practices, attitudes toward health care, healthcare-seeking trends, and the affliction of various diseases on infant and maternal health
  • Improved skills in health literacy and cross-cultural knowledge.

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The Training Model

The training is designed for health care providers, health care professionals, doulas, birth workers and community health workers to achieve cultural competency in working with diverse populations in maternal and child health.

The training curriculum is built on materials, theory and practices from Columbia University Medical Center Curriculum Committee on Cultural Competency, Virginia Mentoring Partnership Program, the International Center for Traditional Childbearing, international and infant mortality prevention, public health, and business.

The training subjects are assessment of self and practice, cultural competency, ethics and law, infant and maternal mortality prevention, and implementation.

The training model for the delivery of information is through lecture, PowerPoint, self-assessment, discussion, and interactive exercise.

Four Training Models

  1. A six-hour in-person training from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The in-person training earns 0.6 MEAC CEU’s.
  2. A six-hour live webinar covers the five competencies: Self-Awareness, Cross-Cultural Knowledge, Health Literacy, Delivery of Care, and Advocacy. This is a two-hour per day training, for three consecutive days. The days and times can be individualized.
  3. A  90-minute live webinar that covers one competency of your choice.
  4. Personalized consulting to create a culturally competent organization, clinic, birth center, or private practice.

The live webinars do not offer CEU’S.
All trainings offer a certificate of attendance that is emailed to the participant within 30 days after the training ends.


The Training Outcome

Participants who complete the training, will have a better understanding of cultural competency, the role of the five competencies for improved birth outcomes, Arthur Kleinman’s interview technique, creating a cultural competent practice, and meeting the needs of a changing demographics locally and internationally.

The Goals and Objectives

Goal: Achieve Cultural Competency


  1. List the five core cultural competencies
  2. List the causes of infant mortality
  3. Implement a core competency in a health care/doula practice

The Training is:

  • A six-hour training
  • Has a one-hour lunch
  • Two 10-minute breaks and two 5-minute breaks
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. — 5:30 p.m.
  • An agenda, educational materials and resources are provided
  • A certificate of attendance is provided via email, 30-days after the training
  • 6 CEU are approved by DONA International
  • The training travels.


To end the disproportionate higher rate of infant and maternal mortality in ethnically diverse populations, we need culturally competent maternity care.

Shafia M. Monroe, DEM, CDT, MPH

Shafia M. Monroe, DEM. CDT, MPH
Office Number: 503-927-8357 | Email:
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