Jul 19, 2023 - Health

Birthing Beautiful Communities launches capital campaign

Illustration of a baby stroller with quarters for wheels.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The nonprofit Birthing Beautiful Communities (BBC), Cleveland's only organization dedicated solely to improving birth outcomes for Black mothers and children, has launched its first-ever capital campaign with the goal of building a birthing center in Hough.

Why it matters: The funding will help pay for the construction of a $15 million facility in a historically redlined neighborhood that is nearly 90% Black and has an infant mortality rate far higher than the national average.

  • The center would become the only Black-led, free-standing birthing center in the state of Ohio, according to BBC's CEO Jazmin Long.

State of play: BBC, founded in 2014, serves about 600 families a year, offering both labor and postpartum support services. The organization's doulas help expectant mothers create birth plans and serve as a "support person, labor coach, instructor, peer counselor and peer advisor."

What they're saying: "Our doula program has proven to effectively address the poor birth outcomes that have plagued Black mothers, babies and families in Cleveland for far too long," Long said in a statement.

  • "Each dollar raised will directly support our lifesaving services in the construction of this critical birthing center."

Details: The 10,000-square-foot center will include multiple birthing suites allowing patients to give birth on site, plus exam rooms and medical stations for both gynecological and mental health care.

  • Multipurpose open spaces will be used to host workshops and trainings for the community.

By the numbers: Fundraising has been kickstarted by three $1 million donations — from the City of Cleveland's federal stimulus funds, the Cleveland Foundation and the Gund Foundation.

  • BBC will seek additional support from government agencies, local corporations and individuals, according to a press release.

What's next: The goal is to begin construction of the Hough facility in autumn 2024, with operations to begin in 2025.


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