Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso launched a comprehensive, $250,000 maternal health campaign last week in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole — with print and online resources, bus and subway ads, and social media outreach aimed at at-risk Black, Brown, Targeted Caribbean and social media outreach. Latino moms.
But Reynoso is dramatically scaling up the new health program by adding to its full $45 million fiscal year 2023 capital budget and making a bold, historic effort to improve barriers for Brooklyn’s Black and Brown mothers who often face life-threatening conditions. Or-occurs in the conditions of death.
This is the first time in the city’s history that a borough president has spent an entire fiscal year’s funds on one entity.
Reynoso’s $45 million outlay will aid three City Health & Hospitals Corp. facilities, in conjunction with their maternal health initiatives – renovating the Kings County Hospital Center’s neonatal intensive care unit, overhauling the labor and delivery rooms, post- Partum recovery rooms, the construction of a state-of-the-art birthing center at Woodhull Hospital, among other specific maternal health care reforms.
Black, Brown, Caribbean, and Latino communities “where the highest rates of maternal mortality and morbidity have been reported” – including Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, Canarsie, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, East New York, Flatbush, and Williamsburg Huh. — are target areas for health initiatives,” Reynoso says, explaining that black Brooklyn women are 9.4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than their white counterparts — and Caribbean women [Haitian women in particular] Face the highest risks.
“I’m hoping that in four years, Brooklyn is the safest place to have a baby, which is going to be difficult to do, but that’s my goal,” Reynoso said while sitting at September Cafe in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Just before last Wednesday’s announcement.
The decision to promote the Matri initiative was made in July. The borough president established a maternal health task force of veteran health and policy experts in April to design and implement the project. Its members include Jamaican-born former city council member Una Clarke and Cheryl Hall, 40, executive director of the Caribbean Women’s Health Association.
In addition to physical improvements at hospitals, achieving progress on maternal health will require changing the mindset of mothers, medical professionals and others, agree Reynoso and taskforce co-chair Dr. Wendy Wilcox, chief women’s health services officer for HHC.
Get the Maternal Health Resource Guide online at brooklyn-usa.org/healthypregnancy.
There’s still time to see “Sources of Light,” an exhibition of 30 painted paintings by Jamaican-born artist Donovan Nelson, at the Wilmer Jennings Gallery in Kenkelba, at 219 E. 2nd St., in Manhattan. [at Ave. B], The exhibition will close on 31 December.
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Great black artists Benny Andrews, Sam Gilliam, Norman Lewis and Frank Wimberly are among the subjects of the artworks, as well as portraits of art students taught by Nelson.
Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Call (212) 674-3939 for information.
Yes, talent and dance run in the family for Trinidad and Tobago-born Chelsea Endell, who is also making a mark as a professional dancer, actress, teacher – and rapper.
The multi-talented 21-year-old New York-based artist, better known by his stage name “Sauce the Rapper,” has already garnered respect and achievements in dancing and acting. And she recently released a remixed tune called “Let Your Light Shine” this month.
Andell recently expanded her dance instruction repertoire by holding her first hip-hop class in October at Ripley Friar Studios in Manhattan. His mother is Candice Clarke, who in 1979 founded the Candice Clarke Academy of Dance, based in Trinidad and Tobago. Andel serves as co-director of her mother’s dance academy.
Over the years, Andell has earned several dance-related honors, and branched out into the acting profession, and the New York Film Academy graduate has had several film roles.
For more information on Chelsea Andell, visit linktr.ee/chelseaandell.