How Black Mamas and Birthing People Are Redesigning Quality in Hospital Births


"These birthing people are experts of their own body. We need to take each patient as an individual instead of a blanket approach because Black mothers and babies are dying and being traumatized by the current medical system"

- TaNefer Camara


Watch the full event

Traditional quality improvement (QI) in a hospital setting is grounded by data scientists and clinicians with the goal of increasing efficiency and effectiveness. However, how do we know whether the data we are capturing is telling the full story? How do we capture empathy, ethics and experience within survey design and why is this important? What happens when Black women and birthing people are the ones defining what successful measurements look like?

This February, we were excited to host Dr. Karen Scott, and her work pioneering the PREM-OB Scale and the SACRED Birth Study. Dr. Scott and her team are redefining how success is measured in hospital births by centering Black birthing narratives and community wisdom. The study, designed by Black women scholars, championed by Black women advocates, and centered on Black birthing patients is a key innovation that could serve as a new standard in hospital quality improvement.

In the first hour of the panel, we shared the study design and results, how it can impact communities, and how focusing on measuring patient experiences reveals new insights. In our second hour, we held an interactive workshop to help Black patients, healthcare providers, and hospital administration practice utilizing the PREM-OB scale to identify and name obstetric racism.

If you only ask about the birth experience then you don’t see the full story. When you start picking apart the experience then you can really see the systemic racism taking place.

Ashlee McCorkle-Jamieson, OBGYN

Alameda Health System


Watch the full event to learn about how redefining quality by centering Black birthing narratives can transform healthcare and hospital care.

Participants learned how to:

  • Describe the kinds of interactions that express obstetric racism in social and clinical encounters through the narratives of Black birthing people
  • Explain the value of narratives in measure development and hospital performance
  • Utilize the participatory patient-reported measure of obstetric racism to transform maternal and perinatal research and quality improvement


Karen Scott

Karen Scott
SACRED Birth During COVID-19 Study

Dr. Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH, FACOG is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences at University of California San Francisco. She is an applied epidemiologist, obstetric hospitalist, and crunk public health scholar whose program of research, interprofessional education, clinical practice, and policy are grounded in operationalizing Cultural Rigor through Reproductive Justice, Black Feminism, and Research Justice. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator of the SACRED Birth Study designed to examine Safety, Autonomy, Communication, Racism, Empathy, and Dignity in hospital births and validate a participatory Patient Reported Experience Measure of OBstetric racism, also known as the PREM-OB scale

Tanefer Camara

TaNefer Camara
Lactation and Infant Feeding Specialist

TaNefer L Camara hails from Oakland California. Inspired by the legacy of Traditional Black Midwives & Healers she began her journey into Women’s Reproductive health and birth work in 2005. TaNefer has supported mothers through pregnancy, birth & postpartum as a doula/healer/educator and is most known for her work as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. TaNefer has a true passion for supporting women to achieve their personal goals whether it be breastfeeding, birth or womb healing. She combines her educational background of psychology & community health with Spiritual and ancestral wisdom. As a wife and mother of 4 she embodies the virtues of Maat and brings that energy to her practice.

Ashlee McCorkle-Jamieson

Ashlee McCorkle-Jamieson
SACRED Birth During COVID-19 Study

Dr. Ashlee McCorkle-Jamieson recently completed her traditional medical training in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Following the completion of her residency at Howard University Hospital in 2020, Dr. McCorkle-Jamieson sought additional training to support her contribution to health equity. She has since become the Women’s Reproductive Heath Equity post-doctoral fellow at Alameda Health System. Deliberately unlearning the exploitive theory and practices reinforced in medical education and research, Dr. McCorkle-Jamieson is learning to reimagine research, quality improvement, and care provision to Black women and birthing people under the mentorship of Dr. Karen Scott of the SACRED Birth study. 

Daphina Melbourne

Daphina Melbourne
PTBi, Moderator 

Daphina Melbourne is the Community Engagement Associate at the California Preterm Birth Initiative. Daphina has worked with women across the life course bridging the gap between community and research to ensure that those at the margins are always centered in research development and priorities. She has over fifteen years of reproductive justice organizing experience.