Project Summary

Background: Racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes persist despite interventions designed to promote healthy behaviors, stress reduction, and access to prenatal care. The project team has identified the following contributing factors as critical intervention gaps that are overlooked yet impact preterm birth outcomes:  a lack of authentic, culturally responsive community inclusion and engagement; communities’ persistent lack of trust in science; limited research, which is rooted in historical and present-day racism; a lack of strategic partnerships within research and healthcare systems improvement; and a lack of accountability to community, including failing to adequately prioritize and invest in community-engaged research dissemination strategies. In order to achieve equitable engagement among non-academic stakeholders, investment in capacity building such as training, coaching, and access to professional development opportunities are necessary for meaningful participation in the process.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: The Building Stakeholder Capacity for EMBRACE Community Dissemination Initiative will build upon community engagement efforts, address gaps in dissemination knowledge, and provide a space for strategic planning for the Study Advisory Group (SAG) from the PCORI-funded Engaging Mothers and Babies – Reimagining Antenatal Care for Everyone (EMBRACE) study. The project team will build the capacity of the EMBRACE SAG to support widespread, multi-stakeholder research dissemination.


AIM 1: Create a two-year capacity building and dissemination partnership with stakeholders to explore opportunities, challenges, and strategies for meaningful research dissemination.

AIM 2: Support, train, and build the capacity of SAG members in partnership with academic, community-based organizations and consultants to create a dissemination plan for the PCORI-funded EMBRACE study.

AIM 3: Develop a comprehensive community engagement and dissemination implementation plan and pilot.

AIM 4: Innovate a community awareness campaign to advance recognizing the impact of preterm birth and implement the EMBRACE study dissemination plan.

Activities: Dissemination capacity-building activities will include core competency trainings to support dissemination and strategic planning sessions to develop a multifaceted dissemination plan.

Projected Outcomes and Outputs:

Short-term outcomes during the project period include: 
The EMBRACE SAG will have increased representation from Black patients in Fresno, California. The SAG will report increased knowledge of dissemination methods and will develop and implement a plan for meaningful dissemination of study results to end-users.

Medium-term outcomes (0-2 years post-project period) include:
The EMBRACE SAG will partner with the Fresno Voices for Birth Justice Campaign to develop and publish content for dissemination of EMBRACE findings. Voices is a public awareness campaign conceived of by the UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-CA) Community Advisory Board in partnership with It shines a light on perinatal inequities Black women experience in a way that builds on strengths and moves people to action.

Long-term outcomes (3+ years post-project period) include:
In partnership with the EMBRACE SAG, PTBi-CA staff will publish findings that will illustrate effective strategies and lessons learned for authentic community inclusion in research dissemination. The publication for the EMBRACE Community Dissemination Initiative will be open access to promote accessibility.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The PTBi-CA Community Engagement team will partner with PCORI-funded EMBRACE study staff to lead the SAG through codesigning a community-engaged EMBRACE study dissemination plan and campaign, piloting EMBRACE study dissemination activities and evaluating the results.

Project Collaborators: The PTBi-CA Community Engagement team will partner with current PCORI-funded EMBRACE study staff for the Building Stakeholder Capacity Community Dissemination Initiative for the EMBRACE study.

Project Information

Shanell Williams, AAS, BA
The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco

Key Dates

January 2025


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: April 3, 2024