The Improving Outcomes Program is led by Maternal Mental Health Now and funded by LA Care and Cedars Community Benefit Giving Office. I am proud to serve as the Cedars site PI and our sister medical site is Watts Healthcare. The Improving Outcomes Program was created in response to the gross disparities in adverse birth outcomes, including postpartum depression, experienced by Black women compared to other races. Maternal Mental Health Now is a local non-profit organization dedicated to removing barriers to the prevention, identification and treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in Los Angeles County. A major goal of the Improving Outcomes Program is to provide training on cultural humility in the medical setting and a partnership with iDREAM for Racial Health Equity was the next logical step.
Another important step is to provide psychoeducation and support for pregnant black women, so they feel comfortable in their medical home before delivery. This 5 session program will be facilitated by Black Women for Wellness, another local organization and will provide communication tips and tools for women to use with their doctors, nurses and hospital staff as they navigate their pregnancy and birth experiences. MMH-NOW will be hosting a series of support circles for pregnant black women at various locations across LA County throughout 2020. The groups will take place at the San Fernando Valley Counseling Center on Sunday afternoons starting February 2nd, at Wellnest on Wednesday evenings starting February 19th, at well Baby Center on Sunday afternoons starting March 8th and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday afternoons starting July 12th. Each session is five weeks long and is facilitated by Raena Granberry. Please help us spread the word about these support groups!
Our goal with both arms of this Program is to help change the trajectory of Black women’s maternal and reproductive health. Please check out this special edition of the new Tribune Media syndicated series ALLIES, below! Comedian and “Accidental Activist,” Angelina Spicer, describes her journey from despair to healing and then to advocacy. I am the voice of expertise in the piece, discussing postpartum depression (PPD) and the fact that African American women are 3X more likely to suffer from PPD. I also introduce the Improving Outcomes Program to share we can do in the hospital center setting! Click image below to be directed to KTLA story.
Dr. Accortt in the News
12/3/19: Quartz, Ten questions about mothers’ mental health could promote resilient pregnancies
5/10/19: CGTN America, US comedian uses her act to turn the spotlight on postpartum depression
5/1/19: KTLA News, How One Comedian’s Battle With Postpartum Depression Turned Laughs Into Legislation
3/20/19: KFI News Radio, FDA Approves First Drug for PPD, Brexanolone (Zulresso) - Correction: Rix states that Dr. Accortt "treats thousands of women at CS" - Thousands of women delivery babies at CS every year. Dr. Accortt does not treat them.
Winter 2019: Cedars-Sinai Discoveries Magazine, Stop The Stigma
9/11/18: USC Center for Health Journalism, Cedars-Sinai PPD Screening Program May be Model for State
Summer 2018: Cedars-Sinai Catalyst Magazine, The Helping Hand of Los Angeles Funds Postpartum Depression Screening Program, scroll down to page 40 of magazine
5/18/18: TODAY.com, Alyssa Milano on Postpartum Anxiety
5/3/18: Cedars-Sinai Maternal Mental Health Research
10/19/17: Cedars-Sinai Postpartum Depression Screening Program
3/24/17: MomCo. App for Social Support
Dr. Accortt is a California licensed clinical psychologist. When she isn't seeing patients in private practice she conducts research in the OBGYN department at Cedars-Sinai. She will update this page with important maternal mental health news and research.