Featured State: North Carolina
This month's featured leader is Amy Mullenix, MSW, MSPH, Statewide Coordinator at the March of Dimes North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign. We recently asked her a few questions about her work and why she is involved with Every Woman Southeast.
Why are you involved in Every Woman Southeast?
Every Woman Southeast is unique in that it brings together states that share strong historical and cultural connections. I’m involved because we also share historically poor health outcomes that influence what I care about most – the health of women and their children. We in the Southeast fare poorly on national measures of chronic disease, sexually transmitted infections, obesity and infant mortality and morbidity. These challenges impact African-American women disproportionally and result in inequities in health outcomes. Every Woman Southeast gives us the opportunity to grapple with our history and its consequences, pushing us to find solutions to age-old problems that expand how we attempt to improve health. Our proposed life course approach provides a framework to think about how we can support women (beginning even before their own birth!) to achieve their fullest health potential as adults. Every Woman Southeast also affords us the opportunity to consider solutions that build on our shared strengths, such as strong extended family structures and faith communities. It allows us to meet with our peers from other states and think big about how to enhance services and social structures so that women and families can access meaningful opportunities to achieve their best health potential. It is sometimes difficult work, but I continue to participate because we need to leave a new legacy of equity for all of our citizens in the Southeast. In so doing we will achieve our other goals – improving birth outcomes and educational outcomes, for example – and cause a domino effect that reaches down through generations to come.
To read the full interview, click here.
To find out more about what is happening in North Carolina, visit everywomansoutheast.org/partners/north-carolina and everywomannc.com.