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JCSU Faculty and Alumna Publish in Peer-Reviewed Preconception Health Journal

JCSU Faculty Liaison Dr. Antonia Mead and JSCU alumna Jessica Chapman published There is No “I” in Pregnancy: Peers Educating Peers about Preconception Health in the peer-reviewed journal, The Health Educator, v45 n1 p31-34 Spr 2013.

Dr. Antonia Mead, co-Faculty Liaison for the Center of Excellence in Minority Health & Family Wellness

Dr. Antonia Mead served as faculty-mentor on Preconception Peer Health Education research to Jessica Chapman, JCSU alumna. Their research appeared in The Health Educator journal.

Abstract

The purpose of this article to describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health Preconception Peer Educators program at a small private
historically black college and university (HBCU). Peer educators were college students who completed a two-day training that focused on preconception health and health care. Because 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned, it is
imperative to begin the conversation of preconception health early in the lifespan. Using various activities, the message of preconception health was   disseminated throughout the campus and in the community. Results showed that this was an effective program on campus and it should be continued.
Infant mortality continues to be a health disparity in this country. It is defined as a death of an infant less than one year of age. Causes include, but are not limited to, preterm births, congenital malformations, SIDS, and unintentional injuries (MacDorman & Matthews, 2011). One way to reduce the gap is through preconception health and health care. Preconception health is defined as the health of women and men during their reproductive years (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2012). One of Healthy People 2020 objectives that focus on preconception health is “Increase the proportion of women delivering a live birth who received preconception care services and practiced key recommended preconception health behaviors” (p. 11, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Healthy People 2020, 2010). Sub-objectives include discussion with health care providers about preconception health, taking a multivitamin that contains folic acid, not smoking, not consuming alcohol, and using contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancies (U.S. DHHS, Healthy People 2020, 2010). Other maternal and child health indicators are duration of pregnancy (i.e., preterm births). A preterm birth is defined as a gestational period of 37 weeks or less (Beck et. al., 2010). The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) has created a program to address this health disparity of infant mortality and this university participated in the program. The purpose of this article was to describe the formation, implementation, and evaluation of the OMH Preconception Peer Educator (PPE) program at a small, private historically black college and university (HBCU).

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