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During a high-risk pregnancy, this Kansas City mother found support in a prenatal care group

A woman inside a radio studio gestures with her left hand to her chest while talking at a microphone.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
"I was given a village full of angels," Destiny Jackson said of the support she received through EleVATE, a group prenatal care program.

Maternal mortality rates in the U.S. are increasing, and Black mothers are at an even greater risk. EleVATE, a group prenatal care program at University Health in Kansas City, aims to improve the positive outcomes of at-risk individuals.

As a Black woman, Destiny Jackson was already at a greater risk of maternal mortality, and she was considered high-risk due to personal health issues. After multiple pregnancies, the mother took part in EleVATE, a group prenatal care program at University Health in Kansas City.

Unlike traditional, individual 20-minute or less prenatal checkups, the group sessions are 1.5 hours, providing health information, coping and advocacy skills, and building community support.

"I was empowered to take control of my health care," Jackson said. "We're able to relate with each other and it's sustaining. It just doesn't stop when the appointment stops."

Dr. Traci Johnson, a maternal-fetal medicine physician, said there have been fewer C-sections among the cohort group.

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