APRIL 16th: Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Hosts Third Annual UPLIFTING Black Maternal Health Event to Shine Light on Maternal Health Disparities


Written by workbeacmc

April 12, 2024

Franchelle Parker (pictured), a dedicated advocate for social justice and the founding Executive Director of Open Buffalo, will serve as the keynote speaker at the third annual UPLIFTING Black Maternal Health event.

Niagara Falls, NY — Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center’s (NFMMC) P3 Center will host its third annual UPLIFTING Black Maternal Health on April 16, 2024, from 9:30 AM to 4 PM at the Niagara Falls Train Station (825 Depot Ave) to raise awareness about the critical maternal health disparities that disproportionately affect Black mothers.

The free event is open to the public and will feature Niagara Falls native and founding Executive Director of Open Buffalo Franchelle Parker as its keynote speaker. Parker has advocated for two decades, fighting against racism, poverty, and climate change, empowering community leaders to make enduring changes.

Parker began her advocacy as a student organizer at Buffalo State University, fighting to repeal mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws. She advanced to manage communication, political, and community outreach efforts at 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, earning significant legislative victories and serving on various boards, including the Western New York Area Labor Federation. Parker’s numerous accolades include the New York State Labor Award and recognition as a 2023 Buffalo Black Achiever, underlining her extensive impact in advocacy and community leadership.

Attendees can expect a range of activities designed to educate and inspire, including panel discussions, workshops on maternal health, and a special tribute to Fatima Mathews, keynote speaker from last year’s event, who passed away a few months ago.

The event aims to raise awareness about the alarming disparities in maternal health outcomes, particularly for Black, non-Hispanic women. According to a recent New York State Department of Health report, the mortality ratio for these women is five times that of their White, non-Hispanic counterparts. Additionally, the 2023 New York State Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Advisory Council Report highlights that Black individuals are four times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than White individuals.

The UPLIFTING Black Maternal Health event is part of the national Black Maternal Health Week, sponsored by The Black Mamas Matter Alliance during National Minority Health Month in April. The week aims to amplify the voices of Black mothers and advocate for reproductive and birth justice, aligning with our ongoing commitment to address these vital issues.

To register for the event, please contact Eileen Kineke at (716) 343-0817 or Eileen.Kineke@nfmmc.org<mailto:Eileen.Kineke@nfmmc.org>.


The P3 Center is NFMMC’s perinatal and infant community health initiative, featuring community health worker services made possible by the NYS Department of Health Perinatal & Infant Community Health Collaboratives grant and community-based doula services made possible by a grant from the Blue Fund.


Founded in 1895, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center (NFMMC) has a long tradition of serving the Niagara community. NFMMC’s hospital and primary stroke program are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care, and its primary care network is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Memorial’s inpatient services include a cardiac/stroke unit, a medical–surgical unit, an ICU, a Labor and Delivery unit, and an Adult Inpatient Psychiatry unit, the only one of its kind in Niagara County. Memorial serves as a Center for Community Health by operating five primary care centers, a large outpatient adult mental health clinic, a Health Home, and several innovative community-based services.   Thanks to a partnership with Catholic Health, Kaleida Health, and Erie County Medical Center, NFMMC operates the only cardiac catheterization laboratory in Niagara County. Memorial is also home to the Golisano Medical Oncology Center, which operates in collaboration with Roswell Park Comprehensive Care Center.

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