Addressing Black Mental Health Disparities: Collaboration Between United Way And Deloitte Health Equity Institute


March 10, 2022, Alexandria, VA — United Way Worldwide is collaborating with Deloitte to advance health equity, and will be spotlighting the work at the upcoming South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference on March 13, 2022. The Deloitte Health Equity Institute is supporting a two-year project to help local United Ways address racial disparities in infant mortality, low birth weight, and maternal mortality by empowering Black mothers, families, and helping community organizations  to identify root causes and creating equitable solutions that lead to improved health outcomes.

“Before the pandemic, people across the world were struggling with health issues that seemed impossible to solve. COVID-19 has not only exacerbated health challenges, it has also deepened inequities that impact health,” said Myeta Moon, Director of Health, United Way Worldwide. “Access to equitable medical care and social supports for racially and ethnically diverse women and their babies are essential for healthy birth outcomes and the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. We are proud to work with Deloitte to improve health outcomes for Black women and their babies.”

While United Way has long worked at the community level to tackle health challenges and inequities, the collaboration with the Deloitte Health Equity Institute will boost efforts to tackle significant racial inequity in women’s health.

The United States is the most dangerous place among comparable countries to give birth. The risk increases significantly for Black women, who are three to four more times likely to die in childbirth than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also concludes that Black women’s heightened risk of pregnancy-related death spans income and education levels. And children born to Black mothers are significantly more likely to die before their first birthday than those born to white, Hispanic or Asian-American mothers.

Black Girls Matter. Image Credit - Leighann Blackwood

Black Girls Matter. Image Credit – Leighann Blackwood

“This is high impact, purpose-driven work, and we applaud United Way Worldwide for their commitment to addressing health inequities to improve women’s health,” said Jay Bhatt, D.O., MPH, MPA, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and the Deloitte Health Equity Institute. “The maternal mortality rates for Black women are staggering, and one preventable maternal death is one too many. Through collaborations likes this, we aim to identify strategies, services and trainings that can foster greater change and deliver safer, and improved and equitable outcomes for Black mothers and their babies.”

According to the World Population Review, Georgia and Texas are among the states with the highest maternal mortality rates, especially for Black women. During the two-year partnership, United Way of Greater Atlanta and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas will work with community-based organizations to implement strategies improving health equity for Black mothers and their families. United Way for Greater Austin and United Way of Dane County (in Madison, WI) will also support the efforts, drawing from their work in this area. Along with sharing insights, at project’s end, promising strategies and practices will be scaled to other communities.

At the invitation of Energizing Health, United Way leaders will take part in three SXSW sessions outlining United Way’s innovative approaches to improving access to health care:

1. (Re)Designing Systems that Serve the Common Good

March 13, 2022 2:30pm – 3:30pm CDT

By bringing the best of data sharing, technology, and design thinking together, United Ways are leading systems change efforts that address health equity and put individuals first. Speakers: Dr. Jay Bhatt, Executive Director of the Deloitte Health Equity Institute; Myeta Moon, Director of Health, United Way Worldwide; Courtney Phillips, Louisiana Sec. Of Health

Woman getting her blood pressure tested. Image Credit - Hush Naidoo Jade

Woman getting her blood pressure tested. Image Credit – Hush Naidoo Jade

2. Nonprofits + Data Science: An Equation for Impact

March 13, 2022 11:30am – 12:30pm CDT

The algorithms and techniques that companies use to boost profits can be leveraged by mission-driven organizations to improve the world, from battling hunger to advocating for child well-being and more. Speakers: Kevin Claybon, UWW; Charlene Mouille, United Way of WI; Amy Vest, Live for Life Media

3. Solving The Pandemic’s “Invisible Problems”

March 13, 202210:00am – 11:00am CDT

Prior to COVID-19, local communities had a range of issues bubbling under the surface, that hit the boiling point. United Way’s innovation team launched new innovations in partnership with startups to address these issues. Speakers: Sawyer Baker, UWW; Brittany Graunke, DoorDash; Dr. Umair Shah, Washington Sec. of Health

South by Southwest brings together experts and innovators across the technology, healthcare and entertainment industries, all working to build a better future at their annual conference to take place this year from March 11, 2022 – March 20, 2022. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. United Way’s innovation team is honored to be attending this influential conference for the third year.

For more information on United Way’s innovative approaches to improving access to healthcare, connect with your local United Way or to volunteer, please visit:


About United Way

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. With global reach and local impact, we’re making life better for 48 million people annually. United Way is the world’s largest privately funded nonprofit, working in 95% of U.S. communities and 40 countries and territories. That’s why we’re the mission of choice for 1.5 million volunteers, 6.8 million donors and 45,000 corporate partners. In the wake of COVID-19, we’re helping people stay in their homes, stock their pantries, and protect their lives and livelihoods. And we’re working to build resilient, equitable communities. Learn more at Follow us: @United Way and #LiveUnited. Please see for a detailed description of our legal structure.

Banner Image: Health Equity in Black Communities. Image Credit – United Way



United Way Of NYC

United Way of New York City helps to mobilize our communities to break down barriers and build opportunities that improve the lives of low-income New Yorkers for the benefit of all.

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