Adelaide “Adele” Appiah is a public health practitioner who approaches her career as a changemaker in the maternal health field by centering the voices and experiences of Black women and birthing people. In this vein, she has acquired over ten years of experience managing grantmaking initiatives and implementing grant-funded programs to advance maternal health outcomes. Adele’s passion for her work is rooted in her own maternal health journey and challenges navigating the maternal health care system. Her career goal is to improve the birthing outcomes of Black people through birth equity and by dismantling oppressive systems in maternal and reproductive care.
Adele has served in various programmatic and leadership roles where she’s managed multimillion-dollar grant initiatives funded by The Ford Foundation, Anthem Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Groundswell Fund.
One of Adele’s greatest career achievements is codeveloping the Black Birthing Bill of Rights, an evidence-based resource for individuals to become knowledgeable of their rights as a Black person in need of maternal care while with the National Association to Advance Black Birth. It also serves as guidance to engage health providers to change/improve their ethics, policies, and delivery approach in supporting Black people throughout the birthing process.
Adele received her Bachelor of Science in public health and sociology from The Ohio State University and her Master of Public Health in maternal and child health from George Washington University.
Adele is the Program Director at CHC: Creating Healthier Communities where she leads a team of community-based participatory researchers, public health practitioners and community leaders in building public health programming that aims to reduce preterm births among Black birthing people by mitigating the association between stress and preterm birth. To build this program, Adele has centered on the lived experiences of Black birthing people.
Adele is also a fellow with RWJF funded, National Collaborative for Health Equity’s Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing. As a fellow she focuses on the Racial Healing and Relationship pillar. This fellowship is an 18-month leadership experience that uses the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation™ Framework (TRHT ™) to strengthen the ecosystem of leaders who are advancing racial and health equity in their work. TRHT is an actionable model designed to bring about transformational and sustainable change that addresses the historic and contemporary effects of racism. Using the framework, leaders will focus work in one of five areas: narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law, and the economy.
Adele joins thirty-nine other talented leaders from 24 different states around the country as part of this cohort, and the 40 other leaders from the inaugural cohort. After a competitive selection process beginning in the early summer, individuals were selected for their leadership experiences in policy, law, grassroots organizations, education, and health fields.
What underscores Adele’s work is the belief that the answer to health disparity lies in the community most impacted. Thus, it’s imperative that Black birthing people are not only consulted in building this program but are integrated through staffing positions and opportunities to continue to lead their communities to optimal health. This lens shares a similar approach to the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation framework.