Join Us - Pat Chat Live

Thursday, April 16th at 6pm EST


We will be discussing:

  • Data & Legislation
    • Black Maternal & Infant Health
    • Racial Disparities
    • Momnibus Bill
  • Mental Health Pre- & Post-Pregnancy
  • Importance of Doulas
    • Birthing Bill of Rights
    • Birthing Plans for Black Mothers

Featuring Voices of the Birth Equity & Justice Workgroup

Sally Dixon, RN

Sally Dixon is the FIMR (Fetal Infant Mortality Review) Coordinator at the St. Joseph County Department of Health in South Bend, Indiana where she leads a team of more that forty maternal-child health professionals and community leaders working to reduce infant mortality in their community, including the disparities in birth outcomes for women and infants of color. With the FIMR Case Review and Community Action teams, Ms. Dixon manages projects to improve preconception health and pregnancy intention, safe sleep education, the integration of clinical and community-based providers to connect families to needed resources and advance the principles of birth equity and justice.

Her nursing experience includes labor and delivery, postpartum, newborn nursery and managing a home care agency for high risk mothers. Sally received her Diploma in Professional Nursing from the Presbyterian – University of Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing and a BA in Liberal Studies and Health Care Psychology from Graceland University, Iowa.

She also serves on the following state and local advisory boards and committees:

  • Indiana State Department of Health’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee.
  • Joseph County Child Fatality Review Team
  • LOGAN Community Resources Board of Directors and LOGAN’s Development Committee
  • Family and Children’s Center Program Advisory Board
  • Nurse Family Partnership, Community Advisory Board

Marla Godette, Mental Health Specialist

Marla Godette earned a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Michigan where she took on a trifold concentration and studied Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology. She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Counseling from Central Michigan University. Marla is currently embracing her passions of working with and learning from people of all ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds by pursuing her Doctorate degree in Global Leadership through Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, IN.

For over a decade Marla has become a highly requested clinician for her work with children and families from underserved and disadvantaged situations. She specializes in care of those diagnosed with chronic mental illnesses and offers services to individuals transitioning through life changes such as career/academic changes, financial hardship, illnesses and divorce. Marla provides professional development and training to organizations. She is an adjunct professor, an international conference speaker and presenter, and has become a sought after keynote speaker for major events.

Kelli Brien, Certified Doula & Childbirth Educator

Kelli Brien is a passionate health advocate, focused on eliminating racial disparities in maternal health. She created the Speak Life Doula program and co-authored the Safety PIN grant submission that garnered multiple awards from the Indiana State Department of Health. Kelli founded In Full Bloom Maternity Service LLC and Mahogany Maternity, a 501(c)(3) to provide maternity support in her community as well as surrounding counties. She is a Certified Lactation Specialist, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, and certified birth and postpartum Doula for over 13 years.

She serves on The Saint Joseph County Fetal Infant Mortality Review team, the Indiana State Department of Health Maternal Mortality Review team and chairs the Birth Equity Subcommittee for DONA International. She established the 32nd Milk Bank Depot in Indiana. Kelli has testified at the Indiana Statehouse in House and Senate chambers in support of Senate Bill 416, which passed, to be signed by Governor Eric Holcomb.

About Black Maternal Health Week

Black Maternal Health Week is led in South Bend by the Birth Equity & Justice Workgroup, a collaboration of individuals and organizations who are committed to a community where all people have an optimal pregnancy and birth experience with an intentional focus on the elimination of racial and social inequities in birth outcomes.

Nationally, BMHW was founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, to create a week of awareness, activism, and community building intended to:

  • Deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health in the US • Amplify community-driven policy, research, and care solutions
  • Center the voices of Black Mamas, women, families, and stakeholders
  • Provide a national platform for Black-led entities and efforts on maternal health, birth and reproductive justice
  • Enhance community organizing on Black maternal health