A Perinatal Intervention Program for Urban American Indians—Part 2: The Story of a Program and Its Implications for Practice

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Abstract:

This is the story of how a culturally aware staff successfully intervened with a clientele of another culture. A high infant mortality rate for American Indians in Milwaukee, WI, prompted a community health agency to initiate a program to address the problem. Efforts were made to educate the American Indian community about the importance of both prenatal and postnatal care. Part 1 of this report was published (Davis & Prater, 2001) and presented the design and implementation of the program, as well as program outcomes. Here, Part 2 describes aspects of the same program, including the personal story of a client and the results of an evaluation conducted by a three-person research team. Implications for practice are also presented. Among these are suggestions for hiring and retaining staff, locating and retaining clients, addressing cultural sensitivity, and identifying administrative actions that enhance program operation. The personal stories of two additional clients are included to illustrate the difficult reality of some clients' lives and the resulting necessity for flexibility and resourcefulness on the part of program staff. This program represents the positive impact that program workers had on the problem of American Indian infant mortality.

Keywords: American Indian; Lamaze Method; perinatal; pregnancy; prenatal

Document Type: Standard Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1624/105812402X88687

Affiliations: 1: SANDRA L. PRATER is a freelance social services researcher and consultant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her areas of interest include minority health care issues and social welfare policies that impact women. 2: CAROL L. DAVIS is a research nurse coordinator in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She serves on the Wisconsin State Maternal Mortality Review Team and is chair of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) Designation Committee.

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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