Emerging Practice

The Embrace Project Study

State/Jurisdiction: Utah
Setting: Community
Population: Women & Maternal
Topic Area: Equity & Anti-Racism
NPMs: NPM 1: Well-Woman Visit

The Embrace Project (Embrace) was developed in response to striking data in Utah which demonstrates mothers who are Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) experience the highest rates of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) in the state, with approximately 2% of all deliveries to NHPI mothers affected by SMM. Embrace was a pragmatic randomized trial of culturally-integrated interventions for health, implemented as a community-based participatory research study conducted from September 2020 to September 2022, and was a collaborative partnership. This project sought to improve health knowledge and behaviors among NHPI women through interventions grounded in NHPI cultural concepts, heritage arts, and traditional practices. Embrace focused on physical and mental health, with an emphasis on self-care. Connection to culture was a crucial pillar of the project to make sure the health education and resources provided were relatable, accessible, and compassionate. The specific aims of the project included: 1) improve knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors related to perinatal health and 2) measure changes in biometric measures related to diabetes and diabetes risk factors. Project elements included health coaching sessions with registered dietitians, screenings for social determinants of health, support from community health workers (CHWs), and integrated education to build cultural identity.

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Implementation Handout

Utah Department of Health and Human Services Office of Health Equity
Ban Naes

Practice Website