Establishing Equitable Models of Prenatal Care: The Elevating Voices, Addressing Depression, Toxic Stress and Equity (EleVATE) Collaborative - November 14

Recorded On: 11/14/2023

This is part of the AAMC Maternal Mental Health Learning Series.

Developed by an interdisciplinary team of Black patients, obstetric clinicians, and mental health professionals, EleVATE Group Care aims to reduce preterm birth rates among Black women by incorporating evidence-based behavioral techniques. Additionally, its framework for health equity promotion involves three main components: Patients – reduce inequitable adverse pregnancy outcomes, Systems Change – elevate and integrate perspectives from communities and health care institutions, Clinicians – provide training to support patients experiencing trauma, depression, and psychosocial stress because of racism. Through this work at seven sites across Missouri (and growing), EleVATE has already shown a significant improvement in health outcomes. This webinar will showcase the success of the program, their plans for the future, and the challenges they have faced along the way.

Register for other sessions in the series as they become available here. Please note that you may participate in multiple forums or choose individual sessions to attend.

Ebony Carter, MD, MPH

Director, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Dr. Carter is known for her research involving community-based interventions to promote health equity for pregnant women and their babies. She is the director of the Division of Clinical Research in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on evidence-based methods to optimize management of medical complications in pregnancy and translating knowledge of adverse pregnancy outcomes into risk-reduction strategies for future cardiovascular disease.

Traci Johnson, MD

Assistant Professor, Assistant Program Director, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine

Dr. Traci Johnson was born and raised in rural Texas, and her skill as a left-fielder earned her a softball scholarship to Prairie View A&M University outside of Houston.

She attended MCP Hahnemann College of Medicine in Philadelphia, now Drexel University College of Medicine, due to its rich history of paving the way for women in medicine and women of color. She entered residency at the vigorous Washington University in St. Louis, where she was honored to serve as Administrative Chief Resident. 

After repaying her service as a National Health Service Corps Scholar at a rural Federally-Qualified Health Center, she slowly migrated to the private practice sector of Kansas City but felt the pull of academics where she feels most impactful.

At University Health, she oversaw a busy Labor and Delivery Unit as the Director for L&D while serving as Associate Program Director for the OBGYN residency program. Her passion, however, is her work in population health equity and special communities. She serves as a leader in Missouri’s Hospital Association's Perinatal Quality Review Board, overseeing efforts to decrease maternal and infant mortality in the state. She also was appointed as a member of the Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review Board in Jeff City, reviewing all pregnancy-related deaths in Missouri. She was recently elected Chair-Elect of this prestigious board and will focus the next two years on health equity. 

She recently completed a life-long dream of subspecialty training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and will return to academics this summer.

When she is not doing all this, you will see her and her husband cheering their two sons and daughter emphatically at soccer or gymnastics.

Kelly McKay-Gist, MSW, LMSW

Assistant Director of Perinatal Health Equity
St. Louis Integrated Health Network

Kelly McKay-Gist is the Assistant Director -Perinatal Health Equity at the St. Louis Integrated Health Network. Primarily, she works coordinating the EleVATE Collaborative: Elevating Voices, Addressing Depression, Toxic Stress and Equity. Her work focuses on community based participatory research, implementation, catalyzing racial equity to eliminate inequitable patient outcomes, systems and policies. Previously, she has held a range of direct service leadership positions focused on implementing mental health interventions and managing community led projects focused on mental health treatment for children, adults, and young families.

She earned her undergraduate degree in human development and family studies from University of Vermont and Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. She is also a licensed clinical social worker.

Cheron Phillips


For Parent. For Baby. For Life.

A CHW, Founder of a maternal advocacy group, For Parent. For Baby. For Life., that brings awareness to postpartum care, self-care, and systems change in the region. She is also a Patient-turned-Partner with the EleVATE Collaborative through the St. Louis Integrated Network since its inception in 2016, shortly after the birth of her first son who has been diagnosed with Autism. As a group prenatal care participant during her pregnancy, she utilized her lived expertise to co-create the EleVATE curriculum with a transdisciplinary team of patients, healthcare professionals, and community organizations. She serves on the EleVATE Steering Committee, which guides the overall mission of the Collaborative, provides trauma-informed care training to obstetric clinicians in St. Louis, and speaks nationally on her work to make the medical field more equitable for her community.

Components visible upon registration.