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Essex County Improving Pregnancy Outcomes Project/IPO Community Doulas

The overarching goal of SPAN's Essex County Improving Pregnancy Outcomes Project is to improve preconception, prenatal, and interconception care and reduce pre-term births, low birth weight, and infant mortality rates by connecting Essex County underserved women and men to needed services and supports.  The project targets the Essex County communities, Newark, Irvington, East Orange and Orange  with the greatest need.  These are the women who are least likely to receive prenatal care or to have a “medical home,” and most likely to have poorer pregnancy outcomes.  

SPAN's Essex County Improving Pregnancy Outcomes Project has also developed an Advisory Board which meets quarterly. The Advisory Board includes families in the targeted communities, Newark, Irvington, East Orange and Orange as well as community-based agencies, service providers, and county and municipal agency representatives, to advise our work and enhance coordination of services.  If you would like to attend contact Program Director at the contact information listed below.




SPAN's team of four Community Health Workers connects Essex County women and men to health insurance, health care, and other needed community services, and provides ongoing and intensive support to help them access those resources and services and build their own knowledge and skills! Check out some free events below that IPO has going on in a community near you!



The Essex County Improving Pregnancy Outcomes Project Program is a health service grant funded by the New Jersey Department of Health"

Rachel Ruel
Project Coordinator
What families/professions are saying about this project: 

" Community Health Workers"

Key Resources of Interest: 

IPO Community Doula Project

Have a Community Doula!: IPO Community doulas provide prenatal/postpartum visits, labor support, and connections to community resources for women living in Essex County, NJ.   

Be a Community Doula!: Do you live in Essex County and have an interest with supporting women/ babies as a community doula/birth professional? 

Know a Community Doula!:


Catherine Sarmiento, Community Health Worker/Community Doula, 973-415-7045

Arelis Martinez, Community Health Worker/Community Doula, 973-489-0620

Gloria Nieves, Community Health Worker/Community Doula, 973-337-3448

Elina Alston, Community Health Worker/Community Doula, 973-704-0866

IPO Community Doulas: Unique Downs, Joana Guzman, Rachel Jean-Miles, Imaani Abdullah, Tatiana Smith