- Sherrie Flynt Wallington, PhD
- Y. Tony Yang, ScD, LLM, MPH
- Terrance Staley
Research Project Description
Maternal mortality is a public health crisis with stark racial disparities. Black women are nearly four times more likely than white women to die of causes related to pregnancy or childbirth even when socioeconomic status is accounted for. DC's maternal mortality rate is twice the national average. Nearly 75 percent of DC mothers died of complications from pregnancy, labor, and childbirth between 2014 and 2016 were African American. Although limited evidence exists, current research shows fathers can play a critical role in children's health/development, starting in the prenatal period, through early childhood and adolescence. "It's a Dad Thing: Fathers as Powerful Agents of Change in Reducing Disparities in Maternal Mortality in the District of Columbia" will focus on the fathers' role and their involvement in pregnancy and postpartum care and its impact on prenatal care, maternal and infant health.
The study design utilizes a sequential mixed-method. Primary data collection includes key informant interviews, focus groups, and a pilot father educational intervention to answer the following research questions:
- What are fathers' perceptions regarding their role in reducing maternal mortality?
- How do system-level factors promote and impede fathers' role in reducing maternal mortality and disparities?
- What are fathers' experiences with and perceived effects of a newly adopted DC paid family leave in reducing maternal mortality?
The answers will expand current literature and further elucidate multilevel issues related to fathers' roles in reducing maternal mortality and improving maternal child health. These answers, with input from the community and stakeholders, will also inform the design of innovative and sustainable father- focused interventions (i.e., educational material), community-engaged activities, dissemination strategies (i.e., peer-reviewed publications, lay health and community reports and workshops, town hall forums), and inform policy.
Sherrie Flynt Wallington, PhD
Sherrie Flynt Wallington is an Assistant Professor, health communication scientist, evaluator, and a health disparities researcher at George Washington University. She has expert knowledge in community-based participatory action and health equity research. Dr. Wallington has been awarded two NIH/NCI grant award (K01, R03), a Robert Woods John Foundation New Connections Grant, as well as additional foundation grants focused on disease prevention and health disparities.
Y. Tony Yang, ScD, LLM, MPH
Y. Tony Yang is a professor and Executive Director of the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University. His scholarly interests focus on policy issues at the intersection of legal and health systems. He has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed articles and has been supported by more than 20 federal and foundation funders. The impact of his scholarship is observable in media coverage. He has received honors such as the Early Career Award for Excellence from APHA.
Terrance Staley is a disabled Veteran, returning from three combat tours in Iraq, where he received a combat action badge for his meritorious service. He is the acting Director of Operations for the Alliance of Concerned Men, a Program Coordinator for the Credible Messenger initiative under the banner of Washington DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services, and a George Washington University Robert Wood Johnson Fellow. Terrance began volunteering at the Alliance of Concerned Men in 2016. He worked on projects like “Guns for Opportunity and Peace”, “Youth Cyber Transformation Mentorship”, “ACM Superhero Concept”, and is currently working with the Institute of World Affairs (IWA), American Universities department of International Conflict and Resolution and Peace, and project ICONS of the University of Maryland to create scenario-based simulations for youth to learn coping skills. From 2017 to 2018 Terrance was a First Responder for ACM in partnership with the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative responding to alerts in the 20020 area code. From 2018 to 2020 he was assigned to the United Medical Center emergency room where he assisted trauma victim’s bedside and provided violence mediation services as well as resources to their families. Terrance earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Bowie State University and is enrolled in their Mental Health Counseling Master program.