FOR RELEASE: March 24, 2017

Contact: Carmina Taylor, (215) 284-5680

Theresa Pettaway (610) 394-3515

Our Contact Information

Phone: 610-553-5479 

​Fax: 610-553-5482

Email: info@theppf.org

Headquarters: 11 Owen Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050

WORCESTER, MA --As the U.S. ranks 56th in the world for infant mortality, 6 deaths per 1,000 births; the City of Worcester has an average of 7 to 9 deaths per 1,000 births, which is higher than the Massachusetts rate of 5 deaths per 1,000. The Pettaway Pursuit Foundation (PPF) is a maternal health and family organization whose mission is to empower expectant, at-risk women and new mothers with education and support throughout the prenatal and post-partum phases of pregnancy. Increasing the number of healthy newborn births through healthier and prolonged pregnancies is the result of this type of maternal caregiving.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region (NNLM NER), located at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, has awarded PPF with a technology enhancement health awareness grant for PPF’s Perinatal Photosynthesis Module Project. Doulas, otherwise known as women caregivers, provide non-medical assistance before, during, and after child birth. PPF Doulas also provide help to the expectant mother's partner and family through one-on-one non-judgmental guidance and inhome practical support.


The community event is being hosted by the NNLM-NER and PPF contributing sponsor, Tufts Health Plan. The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 11AM, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Amphitheater II S4-102, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655. 

This project is funded in part by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement Number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. 

The primary goal of the project is to equip PPF Doulas in Massachusetts with mobile technology by using tablets to provide health education to mothers during their home visits. The Doulas use the National Library of Medicine free resources and websites, specifically MedlinePlus and LactMed. The Doulas are taught how to provide effective educational training to the mothers. Alternative communication techniques such as group chats and video chats using the tablets, facilitate interactive communication in-between visits. The project also includes monthly training sessions for the Doulas to augment their skills, resulting in improved service delivery. The project presentation includes outcomes and benchmarks attained through this innovative and cost-effective pilot project.