Jewish Women’s Foundation of New Jersey Bolsters Trusted Links

Estherlene Phanord, Health Educator for the Trusted Links program, presents to an engaged group of women.

New Jersey’s maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the nation with a rate of 26.7 deaths per every 100,000 live births. Black, non-Hispanic women account for 46.2% of all pregnancy-related maternal deaths in the state, but only 14.9% of the births, making them more than twice as likely to lose their lives during childbirth. To combat these alarming statistics, the Partnership established the Trusted Links program.  

Trusted Links is an innovative community program which engages Black women of child-bearing age to lead discussion groups about reproductive health and empower other women.  Women in the program complete an extensive virtual training session on reproductive health, including information on disparities in care, and pledge to enroll additional advocates to join. In 2019 Trusted Links trained 90 peer educators who reached an additional 500 women.  

The Jewish Women’s Foundation of New Jersey has generously committed $30,000 to help expand the reach of this innovative program.  The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey initially funded the program to engage women in Newark.  With the support of the JWF, the Partnership will expand this dynamic network to women across all eight of our service counties.   

We are grateful to the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New Jersey for their commitment to ending maternal health disparities.  Through Trusted Links, we will continue to work to lower the maternal mortality rate among women of color in New Jersey. 

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