Mariana Cohen

Mariana Cohen interned with the Center for Community Health and Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, with a focus on serving pregnant women in underserved neighborhoods in Boston. The aim of the project was to develop a new program that will provide a holistic and continuous care approach to pregnant and mothering women among Boston’s most underserved neighborhoods. The program aims to empower participants by providing women with the tools and skills necessary to create the potential for intergenerational social opportunity, thereby reducing longstanding health inequities and birth disparities among low-income communities in Boston. As the Health Equity intern, Mariana’s role at the Center was to work in tandem with her supervisor to develop the Family Partnership Program. The Family Partnership Program will serve pregnant women who receive perinatal care at the community health centers in Boston’s most underserved neighborhoods.  In order to inform the program development, Mariana was in charge of developing a best-practices report for perinatal support and economic mobility programs. She was also responsible for creating program materials including a program manual for programmatic staff as well as designing a brochure to recruit participants.  Mariana created two instruments, one was a quantitative participant monthly goal tracking instrument, and one was a set of qualitative interview questions for program stakeholders. Finally, she took part in planning and putting on an event for the pregnant and mothering women that our Center serves. Mariana’s experience at the Center for Health and Health Equity allowed her to see first-hand how a program is developed with the needs of an underserved population at the forefront of all programmatic decisions. The contributions to the Center will play a role in ensuring that the needs of a highly vulnerable population are met. Mariana’s deliverables prioritized the objectives of the program: empowering pregnant women with the skills and resources to take control of their health, advancing their economic standing and ultimately building protective factors that withstand generations.