‘Speak up, be heard‘: Non-profit paying women to hear their healthcare story

Dr. Felecia Brown, a midwife at Sisters in Birth, a Jackson, Miss., clinic that serves...
Dr. Felecia Brown, a midwife at Sisters in Birth, a Jackson, Miss., clinic that serves pregnant women, left, uses a hand held doppler probe on Kamiko Farris of Yazoo City, to measure the heartbeat of the fetus, Dec. 17, 2021.(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 2:58 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A non-profit organization in the Magnolia State is looking for women to “fight for change” by sharing their healthcare story.

The Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable is looking for voices to speak up about the issues that are keeping women from receiving the healthcare they need.

“Over 20,000 Black women fall into the state’s healthcare coverage gap,” said Cassandra Welchlin, executive director of the MSBWR. The healthcare gap they fall into is a catchall for the traumatizing medical experiences women encounter.”

Welchlin said the civic engagement non-profit wants to amplify Black women’s stories to affect change in Mississippi healthcare.

Mississippians live sicker and die earlier than our national counterparts, the Mississippi State Department of Health says.

At an average life span expectancy of 75.8 years, Mississippians die 3.1 years earlier than the national average due to disparities that exist within our state— subpopulations such as rural Black women and babies suffering worse than other groups within the state.

In Mississippi, getting access to healthcare is a hurdle for those in underserved communities.

There are fewer places for Mississippi moms to deliver their babies and a shrinking number of options if those babies are born in need of intensive care.

Doctors are worried about the outcomes for both moms and babies as their access to care options continue to shrink.

Healthcare facilities make dozens of trips to low-income and rural communities to reach out to those who may have limited access to medical care.

And in addition to access to healthcare, other barriers exist, including unequal distribution of coverage, out-of-pocket costs, and difficulty in applying.

In hopes of increasing the number of people who have insurance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have streamlined applications for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, to make it easier for people to enroll.

Open enrollment began Monday, November 1, for marketplace insurance and you must enroll by December 15, 2022, for coverage that starts January 1, 2023.

To share your healthcare experience with Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable, text the keyword “MSVOICES” to (833) 621-1953 or call (601) 487-1189.

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