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Plenary — From Slavery to Sovereignty: Reclaiming Our Stories, Reframing Our Statistics, and Validating Our Solutions to Advance SACRED Births in Hospital Settings

November 5, 2021

The session situates the medical industrial complex and quality improvement leadership, ethics, knowledge, and practices within the historical context of legalized sexual and reproductive oppression, exploitation, extraction, and experimentation of enslaved, diseased, and/or dead Black women, girls, and gender expansive people. The session serves as a call to action to uncover, interrogate, and dismantle hierarchies of healthcare and humanity using frameworks such as reproductive and perinatal apartheid, Sojourner syndrome, obstetric racism, reproductive justice, and cultural rigor.

The session introduces the concepts of the 4Ts (truth, trust, transparency, and transformation) and the seven quality improvement pain points (ethics, knowledge, leadership, science, measurement strategies, data quality and accessibility, and community participation and partnership) as key drivers of the perinatal death/near death gap between Black birthing communities and other racial/ethnic birthing communities.

The session also offers new patient and community focused tools and techniques, such as the PREM-OB Scale™ Suite of three valid measures (Humanity, Kinship, and Racism), to restore the sanctity of birth in hospital based obstetrics and perinatal care for all communities by first prioritizing the voices and lived experiences of Black women, girls, and gender expansive people. By advancing the quality, value, dignity, safety, and science of care provided to Black women, girls, and gender expansive people, then the care experiences and outcomes subsequently improve among other racial and ethnic communities.


Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH, FACOG (she/her) Chief Black Feminist Physician Scientist, Founding CEO, & Owner, Birthing Cultural Rigor, LLC