Ready for School, Ready for Life awards funding for Guilford County doula program

Black parent holds newborn

(Greensboro, N.C., July 17, 2023) – In Guilford County, 45 out of 5,927 babies born in 2020 did not survive their first year. Shockingly, Black infants accounted for 60 percent of these deaths, revealing significant racial disparities. Guilford County’s infant mortality rate is nearly 10 percent higher than the state average and 34 percent higher than the national average.

To address these concerning statistics, Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) has awarded Every Baby Guilford nearly $38,000 to establish a countywide doula program. The grant will enable Every Baby Guilford to provide trained doula care to expectant parents, aiming to reduce the high infant mortality rates in Guilford County.

Charrise Hart, CEO of Ready Ready, expressed enthusiasm for the countywide initiative, stating, “Ready Ready collaborates with and supports community partners to create a comprehensive system of care for Guilford County’s youngest children and their families. We are proud to support Every Baby Guilford’s goal of reducing infant mortality disparities by 50 percent within the next three years. Funding the countywide doula program, which focuses on promoting healthy minority pregnancies and births, plays a critical role in achieving this objective.”

Every Baby Guilford will hire a doula coordinator and contract with five doulas who have received evidence-based training and certification. Together, they will provide prenatal, birthing, and postpartum support to 60 expectant families. Additionally, the doulas will collaborate with the YWCAs in Greensboro and High Point to offer support to pregnant individuals of color participating in home-visiting programs.

“We are grateful for Ready Ready’s financial support,” said Every Baby Guilford Executive Director Jean Workman. “This funding will enhance our countywide doula program, ensuring sustainable support for mothers and birthing individuals, regardless of their ability to pay. Additionally, the funds will facilitate the establishment of a learning collaborative, offering doulas valuable education and business support through mentorship.”

“Every child deserves a great start in life, but not every child starts from the same place,” added Hart. “By supporting children from the prenatal stage to age 8 through partnerships like Every Baby Guilford, we aim to provide Guilford County families with the necessary resources, information, and support to thrive, prepare for kindergarten, and achieve success in school by the third grade.”

Media Contact: Stephanie Skordas,