TeamBirth Launch in Tulsa Generates Media Coverage on the Need for Teamwork and Communication for Those Giving Birth

The launch of the TeamBirth initiative at two more health systems in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drew wide attention from the local media and highlighted the effort to ensure women having babies are heard and their needs are met.

TeamBirth is the centerpiece initiative of Ariadne Labs’ Delivery Decisions Initiative and aims to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes through teamwork and communication utilizing shared decision making.

The coverage kicked off with March 6 op-ed in the Tulsa World by Neel Shah, MD, MPP, director of Ariadne Labs’ Delivery Decisions Initiative, and LaBrisa Williams, executive director of the Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative, who described how TeamBirth can help to establish a bedrock of trustworthiness for those giving birth.

The March 22 launch of the TeamBirth initiative at Hillcrest Medical Center and the Oklahoma State University Medical Centers in Tulsa, Okla., received attention from local media, highlighting the effort to ensure women who are having babies are heard and their needs are met.  Coverage included Tulsa’s KOTV s (here, here, here, and here), Fox 23 NewsTalk 1170 Radio, KFAQ-AM, Newsbreak and other outlets. Fox 23 News also did an update on the decline in cesarean sections at St. Francis Hospital Health System, which implemented TeamBirth two years ago.

Dr. Shah, who attended the official launch at Hillcrest, called it a “uplifting and affirmative” experience. “We walked the units at three hospitals and spoke with over a hundred clinicians over the course of the day who deeply believe in this work,” he said.

The Ariadne Team was accompanied by LaBrisa Williams of the Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative. The George Kaiser Family Foundation recently invested in this initiative to ensure Black, Indigenous and people of color who are most affected by our nation’s maternal mortality crisis are centered in the effort to develop solutions. “The Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative equips families in Tulsa to have healthy births with dignity and reduce maternal health disparities,” said Williams. “We are excited to partner with Ariadne Labs and implement TeamBirth as we work to ensure all people are centered and respected before, during and after pregnancy.”

During a tour of the hospitals across the city “we had honest conversations about the potential of this effort to improve racial equity in maternal health,” Shah said.

DDI plans to begin work this summer to scale up TeamBirth across Oklahoma, including rural and critical-access hospitals.