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GSU celebrates Minority Health Month with maternal healthcare series

Dr. Nancy MacMullen

According to the CDC, about 700 people die during or in the year after pregnancy. Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related causes than white women. That’s one of many disparities’ faculty from Governors State University’s (GSU) College of Health and Human Services are looking to explore in a Facebook live series, which Dr. Nancy MacMullen, Chair and Director of Nursing, said is a way to help “women of color advocate for themselves and their babies.”

The “Empowering Women of Color in Maternal Health Care” series, which comes out of a partnership with the Far South Chicago Coalition (FSCC), will feature an interdisciplinary panel of OB medical providers, nurse practitioners, and a midwife to give an overview of maternal mortality in the Black and Brown community. The goal is to educate audience members about the warning signs for pregnancy-related deaths and the treatment needed to prevent them. That’s in addition to raising awareness about the inequities and disparities communities of color face in the realm of healthcare amid National Minority Health Month. 

 “After this series, I hope women of color are educated to be able to ably determine their safe and maternal care,” said MacMullen, who studies African American maternal morbidity and mortality,

Tareylon Chairse, Director of Education, who will serve as the content producer of the online series, agrees, noting the information is especially vital due to a challenge many women in the Southland, especially on the South Side of Chicago, face: limited access to healthcare.

“Pregnant women on the South Side of Chicago have just three labor and delivery options: the University of Chicago Medical Center, Advocate Trinity Hospital and Roseland Community Hospital,” she explained. “Previously, those women could also deliver their babies at Holy Cross Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Jackson Park Hospital, St. James Hospital, Metro South Hospital, and Medical Center or St. Bernard Hospital, before each closed or suspended its OB-GYN units. Closing of hospitals left a desert for maternal healthcare on the South Side.”

Chairse hopes the series will be a step toward addressing those challenges and more.

 “Women of Color have been marginalized for years by the health community,” she said. “Providing women of color with the knowledge and information will hopefully reduce disparities in the variations of the quality of healthcare and bring a more positive outcome in maternal health.

Join the FSCC’s Health and Mental Wellness Facebook LIVE on Friday, April 22nd on the FSCC Facebook page at 2 p.m. which will be hosted by Dr. Tonya Roberson( CHHS -Director of Community Engagement, Program Development and Academic Support. Two more broadcasts will air on the coalition’s Facebook page on May 20th and June 17th at 2 p.m. 

The series will consist of the following speakers :

Dr. diallo






- Dr. Reneau Diallo, Certified Nurse-Midwife

Dr. Horn








- Dr. Jaime Horn, OB Hospitalist

Wyvon Blackwell







- Wyvon Blackwell, NP, APN, CNS, OB

Dr. Tifany Jamison








- Dr. Tifany Jamison, EdD, APN, FNP-BC, CNS

Dr. Nancy MacMullen







- Nancy MacMullen, Ph.D., RNC, HR - OB, APN/CNS, CNE

Chair Person/Director of the Nursing Department