Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Deborah Schumacher, DNP, RN

Second Advisor

Kathleen Clark, DNP, RN


This scholarly project discusses both the inception and work of the Birth Equity Community Council (BECC) and its actionable initiatives targeted to reduce maternal and infant health inequities in Ramsey and Hennepin County, through the centering of community experiences and voices. While much work has been done to decrease the pregnancy-related mortality ratio, there remains a strong relationship between negative birth outcomes and populations that have been historically marginalized. In working through local government and public health nursing, BECC works to recenter social justice as nursing praxis, in moving toward emancipatory praxis. The actionable initiatives implemented by the council evolve and develop as BECC engages in developmental evaluation to move and adapt to complex dynamics of multiple intersections expressed in the community’s health status through maternal and infant birth outcome disparities. The BECC model aligns both quantitative data through the Perinatal Periods of Risk (PPOR) framework and qualitative data through community participatory dialogues to drive upstream and downstream initiatives. The BECC model is a model of expanding relational complexity through connecting and capacity building in centering community wisdom and knowledge to drive initiatives relates to the work by Margaret Newman and her Health as Expanding Consciousness (HEC). Within the scope of Doctoral Nursing Practice, engagement and work within the BECC team address ACCN Essential II, V, and VI. The work of BECC has only just begun and there are many possibilities to further partner with the ever-increasing number of health organizations that aim to decrease the impact health disparities have on the next generations.


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