Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Receives Grant to Help Improve the Health of Mothers and Babies

February 1, 2022

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist has received a one-year $297,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to create a community-led initiative called “Reimagining Health and Wellbeing By Mothers For Our Babies, Families, and Communities.”

“The long-term goal of this initiative is to decrease the health disparities in maternal and infant health in Forsyth County,” said April M. Miller, M.D., an OB-GYN at Wake Forest Baptist’s Downtown Health Plaza, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and co-principal investigator of the project. “We also hope to increase trust and hope among our Black and Latinx communities, groups that have been marginalized by health inequities.”

The project will employ a project manager and recruit parent researchers from the community to create informed action plans in an effort to address disparities. The project will also partner with two community groups: Forsyth Family Power, a subsidiary of Action4Equity, and Love Out Loud.

“These groups are key partners, and we are very fortunate that they are involved,” said Katherine Poehling, M.D., M.P.H., a Wake Forest Baptist pediatrician, professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest School of Medicine and co-principal investigator of the initiative. “Their experience in creating family-led initiatives is invaluable.”

Forsyth Family Power is a “think and do tank whose mission is to navigate systems with families through collaboration, information and advocacy to achieve systems change resulting in justice.” The group “operates using a family organizing and strategic framework, built around transformative organizing and trauma informed care.”

Founded in 2008, Love Out Loud is a network of nonprofits, businesses, faith groups and individuals “living out Jesus’ call to love our neighbors by partnering with other local community organizations for the flourishing of our city.”

“We know that a healthy pregnancy leads to healthy babies. Healthy babies lead to healthy children and improved early childhood education,” Poehling said. “The work of these groups complements our efforts.”

According to Miller and Poehling, the key objective is listening to community concerns to create action plans that will have a positive impact on families.

“We have to really listen to moms and families first,” Miller said. “We don’t know the problems until we listen. Ultimately, we hope our impact will be to decrease disparities and improve the health of moms and babies. It’s a huge goal, and it will take years. But listening is the first step.”


Media contact: 

Myra Wright,, 336-713-8806