Empowering Immigrant Communities

Empowering Immigrant Voices: Transforming Perinatal Care Through Technology and Compassion

Posted in: Blog
By: Marthe Rana

In a world where progress is often measured in terms of technological advancements, it’s all too easy to overlook the stories that truly matter—the stories that highlight the courage, resilience, and collective power of communities striving for better lives. One such story is etched in the journey of Global Communities’ Healthy Start San Diego program—a beacon of hope, equity, and inclusivity for Black and immigrant communities in the San Diego area.

Central to the Healthy Start San Diego program ethos is a profound belief in their theory of change—a notion that every community deserves high-quality perinatal care. As Director Lisa aptly puts it, “All people deserve high-quality perinatal care, but only some people get it.” In a country where maternal mortality is increasing and infant mortality is still a problem, especially for Black communities which are 2-4x more likely to experience this crisis, this is a real problem. This reality becomes even more pronounced when viewed through the lens of immigration. If you’re a middle-class white individual, accessing childbirth education or lactation support might seem straightforward. However, for immigrants, especially refugees and asylum seekers, barriers emerge— including language barriers that deny them fundamental information and support from the very start.

Lisa’s words echo the urgency of change as she and her team challenge the status quo. It’s not just about language; it’s about a complex web of social determinants that intersect—income, transportation,  trust, and more. These are the barriers that, until addressed, hinder equitable access to care. The poignancy of her message lies in the fact that this issue goes beyond individual choices—it’s systemic, deeply ingrained, and unjust.

Technology as a Catalyst for Equity

In this tale of transformation, technology emerges as a beacon of hope—a tool that doesn’t just empower but also dismantles barriers. The partnership between Global Communities and Exponent Partners illustrates the fusion of innovation and compassion, giving birth to a new era of perinatal care.

Through Salesforce and Exponent Case Management (ECM), the program transcended reporting limitations and took control of its destiny. Customized dashboards evolved from being just metrics to becoming voices of accountability and quality improvement.  Thanks to the user-friendly interface, data work for staff went from a headache to a welcome quiet time for work outside of client visits. And, amidst an increased need and limited resources, the program was able to use data to demonstrate the enhanced outcomes achieved when services are provided by culturally and language-congruent staff. As Lisa put it, “It’s not good enough for someone like me to educate Haitian Creole speakers. We need to be training Haitian Creole speakers to deliver those services.” This approach, catalyzed by technology, ripples through the program’s impact.

Uplifting Immigrant Communities: A Commitment to the Future

Lisa’s insights shed light on a realm often left in shadows—the importance of cultural and language-congruent services for immigrant communities. Healthy Start San Diego’s commitment isn’t limited to providing care; it’s about fostering capacity within these communities by training individuals from within to serve their own. For example, the program has provided more than 100 workforce training to BIPOC and immigrant community members, including training the first Haitian Creole-speaking doulas and Somali-speaking lactation educators in San Diego.  These activities ensure that improvements go beyond the services offered to each individual client and strengthen the service delivery system itself, making it more diverse, while also opening new career pathways for underrepresented communities.

Join Us in Building a Healthier, Inclusive Future

The journey of the Healthy Start San Diego program isn’t just a case study; it’s a call to action. It’s a reminder that technology when wielded with compassion and purpose, can dismantle barriers, foster empowerment, and drive change. Although, if you want to dive into the official case study, you can do so here. 

As we reflect on this transformative journey, we’re reminded that progress isn’t just about innovation; it’s about empathy. It’s about acknowledging the experiences of those who have faced countless hurdles and providing them with the tools to overcome them.  Healthy Start San Diego’s journey underscores that technology isn’t an end in itself; it’s a means to a just and equitable world.

If Lisa’s words resonate with you, if the story of Healthy Start San Diego ignites a fire within, then we invite you to join hands with us. Let’s take this inspiration and turn it into action. Let’s rewrite narratives, dismantle barriers, and create possibilities. Because, at the heart of it all, technology is more than just code—it’s a conduit for change. Learn more about the Global Communities Healthy Start program here.