Centering Communities in Implementation Research: Informing the Future of Prenatal Care in Fresno



Fresno County has one of California's highest preterm birth rates, especially among Black families residing in West Fresno. How can we better center people with lived experiences in monitoring and evaluating the success of an intervention?  

Recently, researchers and scholars are examining how implementation research can advance equity. Despite implementation research’s focus on eliminating disparities, researchers are urging a renewed focus on equity in ways that grapple with the conditions in which programs and interventions are implemented — with a particular focus on the impacts of structural racism, while intentionally engaging communities' history, culture, and values. 

For our December Collaboratory, join researchers from PTBi’s EMBRACE Study and two implementation and health equity scholars to learn about authentic and community-centered strategies that inform and advance equity in evidence-based implementation. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how community organizations and researchers partnered to develop Glow!, a group prenatal care model.  
  • Learn authentic engagement strategies to center equity in implementation research.  
  • Explore strategies to inform equitable implementation such as the EMBRACE study. 

Learn more about the EMBRACE Study: 

Together in partnership with Fresno-based community organizations, the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at CSU Fresno and UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative engaged community members to learn how the conditions in which people are born into, live, work and thrive are affecting birth outcomes. By centering people with lived experience, the researchers and community members developed a care model called Glow!  

Glow! is a community-based, patient-centered and provider-centered model of cohort-based group prenatal care. In addition to lowering preterm birth rates, Glow! aims to lower depression and anxiety and improve overall prenatal care satisfaction. 

The next step for the researchers was to determine if this new model of care was effective at reducing preterm birth rates. The Engaging Mothers and Babies—Re-imagining Antenatal Care for Everyone (EMBRACE) study was kicked off in order to measure the success of the Glow! prenatal groups in comparison to the typical prenatal care a pregnant person in Fresno receives.  

Being born from community partnerships and leadership, the EMBRACE study continues to develop strategies alongside community members who are most affected by preterm birth to contextualize findings and inform the equitable implementation of the Glow! care model. 

Learn more