Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness Welcomes New Program Manager and Birth Equity Leader, Micaela Berry-Smith
Berry-Smith will Manage Maternal and Child Health Initiatives
Madison, Wisconsin – The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit committed to advancing Black women’s health and reducing racial health and birth disparities, has announced its hire of local birth equity leader and Doula, Micaela Berry-Smith, as its new Program Manager for Maternal and Child Health Initiatives.
Berry-Smith joins the Foundation with a broad track record of work and service in birth equity leadership, early childhood education, and social entrepreneurship. She brings over 15 years of working with children and families in diverse settings, and has led several high-impact efforts including most recently serving as Co-Executive Director of Harambee Village Doulas. Micalea has also managed a nanny service in the Greater Madison area, matching in-home childcare providers to working professional families. She completed a double major in Early Childhood Development and Art Therapy at Metro State University in St. Paul, Minnesota and is a DONA trained Doula, certified Infant Specialist, certified Lactation Consultant, a Protective Factors and Ages and Stages Trainer, and a former Head Start Teacher. Micaela previously served on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ Health Equity Council and currently serves on the Community Advisory Board of the University of Wisconsin Prevention Research Center. Berry-Smith is a 2019 Madison Magazine MList Awardee recognized as an outstanding Innovator.
In her role with the Foundation, Berry-Smith joins the newly established Community Health Initiatives team where she will manage the organization’s growing body of Maternal and Child Health work aimed at improving the health and birth outcomes of Black mothers, birthing people and babies in Dane County and Wisconsin. This includes serving as project liaison on the multi-year Saving Our Babies initiative the Foundation co-leads with the Dane County Health Council, and managing a recently launched pilot project with Reach Dane to support better health outcomes and service delivery for pregnant persons and mothers of young children participating in area Head Start programs. Berry-Smith will also support the Foundation’s local and statewide outreach and advocacy work around maternal and child health.
“I am honored to be a part of the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness Team”, says Berry-Smith. “To be valued and affirmed in your skills, talent and expertise is a rarity, and I am excited to join an organization that provides this while leading transformational work in our community and state. I look forward to doing my part to uplift the Black women and birthing bodies and communities we are advocating for and serving.”
The Foundation launched its Community Health Initiatives team in January of this year to support its deepening work to drive health improvement in local high need zip codes where Black women and families face the highest levels of chronic stress, disease, and poor birth outcomes. The team, led by former United Way director Gabe Doyle, consists of three Community Health Workers with extensive knowledge and experience in healthcare and social services navigation, community dynamics, and with the neighborhoods and residents they will support. With the addition of Berry-Smith, CEO & President Lisa Peyton-Caire says the Foundation is further expanding its commitment to address pressing public health crises including the urgency to shift the tide on Dane County’s alarming and longstanding racial birth disparities.
“Miceala is a powerful addition to our team and joins us at a time where her experience is needed more than ever to help lead the growing body of impactful work we are doing to advance Black maternal and child health”, says Peyton-Caire. Her relationships and knowledge in the birth equity space, in child and family health, and her collaborative approach in working in community and systems are what we need right now to take meaningful steps forward in securing the health of Black mothers and babies in Dane County and ultimately across Wisconsin.”
Established in 2012, the Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. To learn more, visit www.ffbww.org.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION FOR BLACK WOMEN’S WELLNESS
Established in June 2012, the Foundation for Black Women's Wellness is committed to our mission to energize, mobilize and support Black Women to transform their health and their lives through education, advocacy, and powerful partnerships. A central part of our work involves efforts to eliminate health disparities and other barriers impacting the lives of Black women and their families by working with community members, partners, and allies to influence systemic change. Each year we reach, engage, and support over 7,000 women and girls in Dane County and across Wisconsin to build healthier lives, and impact and inspire thousands more through our advocacy work and social channels. To learn more, visit www.ffbww.org.