Award-winning Artist/Director Lalo Alcaraz and non-profit population health leader, Heluna Health, announce a collaboration to raise awareness and promote action for birth equity and community health.
The partnership launches with an animated short about the benefits of doula care, a message of particular importance for the artist’s own Latinx community where there is a need to improve maternal health outcomes.
The animation, “Super Doulas,” focuses on the work of Heluna Health partner, SisterWeb San Francisco Community Doula Network, which addresses high rates of adverse birth-related health outcomes affecting women of color by providing community doulas who advocate for equitable care and help ensure that pregnancy and birthing experiences are safe.
SisterWeb’s Semilla Sagrada-Compañeras de Parto program pairs Latinx mothers and families with Latinx doulas, offering specialized prenatal, delivery, and postnatal wellness support. The program also supports doulas and doula mentors through professional development, providing pay and benefits for doulas while offering no-cost high-quality, culturally and linguistically congruent care in San Francisco.
Alcaraz has worked with numerous organizations producing socially relevant health content, including with the California Department of Public Health on COVID-19 vaccination campaigns for the Latinx community. “Joining forces with Heluna Health, we can affect many more people than we can reach separately,” says Alcaraz, “bringing positive cultural knowledge and helpful health information that improves health outcomes for communities is a mission that we share.”
Heluna Health, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, has roots in maternal care that stretch back more than 40 years, managing the largest local Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program in the country and serving approximately 3% of the nation’s total and 20% of California’s WIC recipients. Direct services in the areas of nutrition, early literacy, and community health worker training, are part of Heluna Health’s focus on multi-generational family supports that have the potential for national impact.
“Super Doulas,” produced by Alcaraz and Pocho Villa Productions, is the first in a series of collaborative projects. “Heluna Health is thrilled to team up with Lalo Alcaraz,” says Dr. Blayne Cutler, President and CEO of Heluna Health. “We embrace the history of artists who use creativity to spark social change and we couldn’t be more excited about this collaboration to improve the health and resilience of the communities we serve.”