Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Promotion

First Committee Member

Brandon Grimm

Second Committee Member

Marisa Rosen

Third Committee Member

Mallory Mpare

Fourth Committee Member

Tiffany Carter


The health of women and babies is critical to creating a healthy world. Stratified data shows the overwhelming rates at which Blacks are affected more than Whites. Literature has shown that leveraging partnerships and community engagement are critical components of decision-making and can positively impact the health of communities. Through a direct observational study, the Community Coalition Action Theory was used to analyze the current structure of the March of Dimes Maternal Infant Healthy Equity Coalition. The study aimed to identify strengths and gaps and subsequently provide recommendations to advance the coalition work and promote maternal and infant health equity in the community. Thirty-eight hours of observation revealed the lead agency’s longstanding history and robust team of coalition members uniquely positioned themselves to address maternal and infant health equity in the service area. The observational study revealed there were no formalized bylaws guiding the work. Elements of the Community Coalition Action Theory’s associated constructs: processes, structures, assessment and planning, implementation strategies, and outcomes can be improved. By making a few modifications using published toolkits designed for coalitions, the March of Dimes Maternal Infant Health Equity Coalition can continue to build efforts using evidence-based coalition effectiveness strategies to improve local maternal and child health outcomes among racial and ethnic minority groups.