Bringing Together Health Care Organizations & Black Leaders to Advance Birth Equity

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About Cherished Futures for Black Moms & Babies

Cherished Futures for Black Moms & Babies is a multi-sector collaborative working to reduce Black infant deaths and improve patient experience and safety for Black families in Los Angeles County.

Grounded in data and Black women's experiences, we bring together decision-makers from local hospitals, public health departments, health plans, and Black community leaders. Together, we co-design systems-change solutions at the clinical, institutional, and community levels.

Cherished Futures is a joint initiative of Communities Lifting Communities, the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, and the Hospital Association of Southern California.

About the Collaborative

Cherished Futures is a two-year, cohort experience that focuses on institutional accountability and redefining the narrative about Black birthing families in Los Angeles.


Year 1, the capacity-building year, prepares teams for action through a series of workshops and technical assistance sessions.  Together, we examine anti-Black racism as a root cause of unequal medical treatment and birth outcomes, its impact on Black bodies. We explore clinical and community data, discuss systems-change strategies and regional collaboration opportunities. The year concludes with hospital teams developing actionable, community-informed implementation plans across 3 domains: clinical, institutional, and community.  


Year 2—the implementation year, puts hospital plans into action. We support successful change processes through a series of learning convenings, technical assistance and coaching sessions, and storytelling.

Cherished Futures Hospital Teams

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we successfully launched a pilot cohort in 2020 with five high-volume hospitals, drawing nearly 80 clinicians, Black women community advisors, the public health department, and health plan partners to engage in a year-long planning and capacity-building process. Authentic dialogue is a distinguishing characteristic of Cherished Futures. The collaborative provides a unique space where different sector leaders can move through difficult conversations while learning from each other. 

2020-2021 Cherished Futures Pilot Hospital Cohort

" There has to be an acknowledgement of the unique harm that has been done to Black women."
- Sister Circle Participant, Mother, July 2020

Centering Black Voices and Experiences

We believe this work cannot be done for Black women without Black women. We center Black voices and experiences, ensuring that we [Black women] bring our lived experiences, wisdom, and community-defined solutions to the front and center of the discussion.

To inform hospital quality improvement strategies and ensure that Black women are part of the decision-making process, Cherished Futures embeds Community Advisors as members of each hospital team. Our Community Advisors are respected, Black community leaders, researchers, philanthropists, and clinicians that are deeply rooted in our priority communities. Community Advisors as a collective, support individual hospital teams, provide strategic input into the Cherished Futures project design, and give voice to Black experiences—making the data real and embodied for those less proximate to these experiences. 

2020-2021 Cherished Futures Community Advisors
Mashariki Kudumu, MPH
Maternal and Child Health Director, Greater Los Angeles
March of Dimes
Adjoa Jones, MBA

AAIMM Outreach & Engagement Director 

 Los Angeles County Department of Public Health 

Wenonah Valentine, MBA
Founder & Executive Director
iDREAM for Racial Health Equity
Brandi Desjolais, Ed.D

Co-Director, Black Maternal Health Center of Excellence

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Yolonda Rogers-Jones

Program Coordinator

Black Infant Health Program

Bita Amani, Ph.D, MHS
Jessica Wade, CLE

President and CEO

Mighty Little Giants

Michele Rigsby Pauley, R.N., MSN, CPNP,

Former Program Director

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Co-Director, Black Maternal Health Center of Excellence

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science


“Thank you for launching Cherished Futures to close the birth equity gap. Social justice and health equity are not common themes, unfortunately in clinical services, but you all are truly paving the way.” 


—  Holly J. Mitchell, LA County Supervisor, Former CA State Senator

Meet the Team

Cherished Futures is a joint initiative of Communities Lifting Communities, the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, and the Hospital Association of Southern California.
Cherished Futures: Public Health Alliance of Southern California Team
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Dana Sherrod, MPH

Cherished Futures Lead

Birth Equity & Racial Justice Manager

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Asaiah Harville, IBCLC

Birth Equity Coordinator


Jadah Parks Chatterjee, RN, IBCLC

Quality Improvement Specialist


Esther Priscilla Ebuehi, MS

Birth Equity Impact Analyst


Tracy Delaney, Ph.D.

Alliance Founding Executive Director

Cherished Futures: Communities Lifting Communities/ Hospital Association of Southern California Team
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Susan Harrington

CLC President/Executive Director


Karen Ochoa

Project Manager


Julia Slininger, RN, BS, CPHQ

Quality Improvement Specialist


Dominique Diaz

Program Coordinator


Chelsie Carlton, MHSA

Research Associate

Communities Lifting Communities (CLC) is a regional community health improvement initiative led by the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) to reduce health disparities and improve community health in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.


The Public Health Alliance of Southern California (Alliance) is a coalition of the executive leadership of ten local health departments in Southern California. Collectively, Alliance members have statutory responsibility for the health of 60% of California’s population. The Alliance advances multi-sector policy, systems, and environmental change to improve health and racial equity.


The Public Health Alliance of Southern California is administered by the Public Health Institute.

Cherished Futures is generously funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, First 5 LA, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, the California Health Care Foundation, Health Net and Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare.