Hennepin Healthcare celebrates Black Maternal Health Week with delivery of gift bags from local vendors 

by Hennepin Healthcare

New moms of color who deliver their babies at Hennepin Healthcare will receive special gift bags filled with hair care and skincare products. This effort was coordinated by Hennepin Healthcare’s Health Equity Department and will be supported by Hennepin Healthcare Foundation.

“It’s part of our mission to give back to the community,” said Tianna Thompson, CEO of The Human of Color Haircare, one of the local Black vendors who will be putting together the bags. “We want to support women of color in this space and it’s a need that’s unknown. They are having children and don’t have time to go to the salon.”

All inpatients at HCMC are offered toiletries for self-care. But Black patients have unique skin and hair care needs. HCMC’s Supply Chain Department is committed to diversifying this supply need and was securing minority vendors early in the pandemic, but due to issues with imports and other challenges, this process has been delayed.

“Hennepin Healthcare’s Health Equity Department stepped in and coordinated the delivery of these bags to meet the needs of our women of color who deliver babies to at least cover this area in the interim,” explains Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, Chief Health Equity Officer. “It is one way we can address a need and help busy moms as they welcome their newborns.”

Alicia Thomas with locally owned Butter Luv Aromatics agrees. “I remember when I had my children. My skin was so dry. You just don’t feel like yourself. This is an amazing opportunity to give to women of color.”

Hennepin Healthcare is a nationally recognized integrated system of care. The centerpiece of Hennepin County’s clinical health services, Hennepin Healthcare offers a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services, including The Birth Center, where 1,651 babies entered the world in 2021.

To support the delivery of these products for new moms, please go to Hennepin Healthcare Foundation’s www.hennepinhealthcare.org/designategift site and type in “Black moms gift bags” where it says “other” in the designation line.