Perinatal Equity Initiative

In 2018, recognizing an alarming statewide gap in Black infant mortality, the state Legislature passed the Budget Act of 2018 which included the establishment of the California Perinatal Equity Initiative (PEI) within the Department of Public Health.

While declines in infant mortality have been achieved, the statewide mortality rate for Black infants continues to be two to four times higher than rates for other groups. The PEI aims to address the causes of persistent inequality and identify best practices to eliminate disparities in infant mortality. 

The PEI complements programs and services offered through the Black Infant Health (BIH) Group Model. BIH is a group-based approach that provides services, information and social support to Black mothers to buffer the negative effects of racism and its consequences on women's environments and social experiences. PEI takes California's efforts to address racial disparities in infant mortality even further, promoting specific interventions designed to improve outcomes for Black mothers and their families.

Black Infant Health/Perinatal Equity Initiative Community Advisory Board:

The Riverside County BIH/PEI programs currently conduct quarterly Community Advisory Board (CAB) meetings with community partners with a vested interest in seeing better perinatal outcomes for Black women/birthing families in Riverside county. We welcome parents, previous Black Infant Health participants, community members, CBO’s, perinatal providers, doulas, midwives, mental health providers, students and anyone interested. For more information on how to become involved in the RUHS-Public Health PEI/BIH CAB, please contact Curley Palmer at (951) 840-8024 or

Sankofa Birthworkers

Riverside County Community Doula Services Program

The intent of the Community Doula Services Program PEI intervention is to provide free enhanced prenatal, labor and delivery and postpartum supportive services to African American women with a goal of improving birth outcomes and lowering the high rates of infant mortality for African American babies. The program also seeks to improve pregnancy outcomes for women and equally decrease maternal mortality. Services are available to self-identified pregnant African American women who live in Riverside county and who may or may not be enrolled in the Black Infant Health Program. The culturally congruent and affirming doula services offered include 3 free prenatal visits, labor and delivery support and 2 postpartum visits as well as lactation support during and after pregnancy. For more information or to register for the Sankofa doula program visit Sankofa Birthworkers Collective or check out the flyer below.

Black Fatherhood | Sigma Beta Xi

Riverside County Fatherhood Initiative Services Program

The Fatherhood Initiative Services Program PEI intervention is designed for fathers living in Riverside county, in a relationship with a pregnant or parenting African American woman, with the intent to improve birth outcomes for African American women and decrease African American infant mortality rates. The services offered to the fathers include free 24/7 Dad classes (evidence-based curriculum), a fatherhood coalition and other community and mental health resources focused on supporting positive parenting behaviors among fathers. The fatherhood program provides culturally affirming tools to help fathers strengthen their involvement in the lives of their children and partners. For more information or to register for the SBX fatherhood program visit SBX Youth & Family Services or scan the QR code on fatherhood flyer below.

For more information:

Curley Palmer

RUHS-PH Perinatal Equity Initiative Coordinator

(951) 840-8024

Perinatal Equity Initiative PSA:

Riverside County Black Infant Health Program:

Perinatal Equity Initiative: