Mayor Sarno brought greetings on behalf of the city and presented a proclamation declaring the week of April 11th through the 17th as ‘Black Maternal Health Week’ in the city of Springfield. City Councilor Lavar Click-Bruce spoke and read a City Council Proclamation recognizing the week too.
HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris spoke on the importance of raising awareness for maternal health, especially for women of Color. Everett Hanford, Regional Director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, also provided comments.
During the program, Shenell Ford thanked Tanita Council and Laconia Fennell, from the Springfield Family Doulas, for their efforts in helping to empower, educate and promote maternal health in the community. Mayor Sarno also recognized them with a proclamation.
A piece of art was displayed by Artist Gabriela Sepulveda, which captured some of the feelings and emotions of what a local Black mother was experiencing during her pregnancy. It helps to visualize all of the elements and the range of emotions an expecting mother might be feeling and to reminder her that help and support is never far away.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank my Mayoral Aide Shenell Ford, who is also the Founder and Owner of Heart to Heartbeat Lactation and Wellness, for helping to coordinate this awareness celebration for Black maternal health, as part of our local events during Public Health month. It truly takes a village to help raise a family and events such as this helps to empower, educate and increase awareness to enhance the public health of all our residents, especially for the mothers and soon-to-be moms out there, of the many programs and initiatives that can provide much-needed support.”