1. Choose a Topic: You will first choose a health condition/topic to focus on maternal mortality or morbidity. For example: a specific type of cancer (e.g. lung cancer), a specific type of autoimmune disease (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease), maternal mortality or morbidity, uterine fibroids, menopause, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, etc).

2. Choose a Country: Next, choose a specific country to focus on (you can choose the United States if you would like).

3. You do not need a cover page, but your first page should have a title at the top that includes the health condition and the country you have chosen. For example, a title could be “Lung Cancer in the United States”

4. You will not copy and paste the questions into your paper. Only your answers should be in your paper

5. Similar to your discussions, you will number all of your answers.

6. Length, Spacing, Margins, Font: 5 pages/1250 words (one full page should contain 250 words). Double spaced. 1 inch margins. 12 point Times New Roman font

7. Five Total Citations (Questions 1-3): This means 5 in-text citations and their matching full references at the end of your paper

8. Question #4 asks you to interview someone with the health condition you have decided to write about in this paper. This interview has historically been a powerful experience for students. However, I realize that some of you may not be able to access someone who is willing to share their perspectives with you.  If you are having trouble locating someone with this health issue, you can answer the question about a non-profit organization instead of the interview. See more details below.

Four Questions To Answer:

1. Prevalence and duration of your chosen health condition/topic in your chosen country (e.g. Who and how many people experience this problem? Has the problem worsened or gotten better over time? etc). Make sure to include statistics here. (125 words words/half page, 1 citation, 2 points)

2. General Overview Health Disparities: What are health disparities? How might they be relevant to a person’s health condition? (125 words/half page, 1 citation, 2 points)

3. Factors That May Impact/Relate to Health Disparities: According to the CDCLinks to an external site., many populations experience health disparities which means differences in the “burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health.” The CDC and other federal government entities describe several factors that may impact or relate to health disparities which can include one’s social or economic statusLinks to an external site., geographic locationLinks to an external site., environmentLinks to an external site., race/ethnicity,Links to an external site. ability statusLinks to an external site., sexLinks to an external site., sexual orientation, gender identity,Links to an external site. age,Links to an external site. immigration & refugee statusLinks to an external site., and other factors.

Other scholars claim health disparities are related to access to health insuranceLinks to an external site., health insurance companies prioritizing profitLinks to an external site.,  military participation,Links to an external site. armed conflict/warLinks to an external site., colonialismLinks to an external site., crime and violenceLinks to an external site., and globalizationLinks to an external site. as additional explanations or exacerbations of health disparities. Lastly, some connect health disparities to issues in medical training/education, including the overprescription of medications,Links to an external site. lack of focus on preventative healthLinks to an external site., being dismissed or ignored by medical professionalsLinks to an external site., and a lack of a holistic approach.

Choose three of these factors and describe how they may relate to or impact the prevalence, experience, and treatment of your chosen health condition/topic. For example, you may want to investigate how heart disease may relate to a lack of preventative care, one’s race/ethnicity, and one’s socio-economic status. If there is a factor you’d like to write about that you don’t see here, send me a message (750 words/3 pages and 3 citations, 12 points)

4. Interview: Find someone with this health problem and ask them what their experiences have been like (it is okay if they live in a different country than the one you chose to focus on). Some example questions: How has their health condition impacted their daily life? What has been the most difficult part coping with this health condition? What did they wish they knew at the beginning about their health condition that they know now? What do they think needs to change to assist people with this health condition? What do they think needs to change to prevent this health condition? What has helped them the most with their health condition? Have they worked with or volunteered with any organizations that focus on this health issue? Anything else you want to know. After you have summarized their responses, describe what you think can be done to address this health issue  (250 words/1 page, no citations, 4 points)

If you cannot find anyone to interview, you can complete the following instead of the interview for question #4:

Solutions: Identify two to three non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, or for-profit organizations that are addressing your health topic. What are their goals/mission? How successful have they been? In addition to these organizations, what do you think can be done to address this health issue? (250 words/1 page, no citations, 4 points)

Note: if helpful, The Kaiser Family Foundation has additional health disparities data here.Links to an external site.

Sample Answer

Sample Answer



Maternal Mortality in the United States

1. Prevalence and Duration

Maternal mortality in the United States has been a concerning issue, with approximately 700 pregnancy-related deaths occurring each year. The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is higher than in other developed countries and has shown an increasing trend in recent years, particularly among women of color. Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications compared to white women. The problem of maternal mortality has worsened over time due to various factors such as disparities in access to quality healthcare, systemic racism, and inadequate prenatal care.

2. General Overview Health Disparities

Health disparities refer to differences in health outcomes between different populations, often related to social, economic, or environmental factors. In the context of maternal mortality, health disparities can manifest as variations in access to prenatal care, quality healthcare services, and socioeconomic resources. These disparities disproportionately affect marginalized communities, leading to unequal maternal health outcomes.

3. Factors Impacting Health Disparities in Maternal Mortality

Social or Economic Status

Women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may face barriers to accessing quality prenatal care, leading to higher rates of maternal mortality. Limited financial resources and lack of health insurance can hinder timely medical interventions during pregnancy and childbirth.


Racial disparities play a significant role in maternal mortality, with Black women experiencing disproportionately higher rates of pregnancy-related deaths compared to white women. Structural racism within healthcare systems contributes to inadequate care for women of color, leading to adverse maternal health outcomes.

Access to Health Insurance

Lack of health insurance coverage can result in delayed or inadequate prenatal care, increasing the risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Women without insurance may forego essential screenings and treatments, impacting their maternal health.

4. Solutions

Non-Profit Organizations Addressing Maternal Mortality

1. March of Dimes: A non-profit organization dedicated to improving maternal and infant health through research, advocacy, and education. Their mission is to prevent premature birth, birth defects, and infant mortality by supporting mothers and babies’ health.

2. Black Mamas Matter Alliance: An organization focused on addressing maternal health inequities among Black women in the U.S. through advocacy, research, and community-driven initiatives. They aim to center Black women’s experiences and promote policies that prioritize maternal health equity.

Personal Reflection and Recommendations

While non-profit organizations play a crucial role in raising awareness and advocating for maternal health issues, systemic changes are essential to address the root causes of maternal mortality disparities. To improve maternal health outcomes in the U.S., policymakers should prioritize expanding access to affordable healthcare, implementing anti-racist practices within healthcare systems, and investing in community-based interventions that support maternal well-being. By addressing social determinants of health and promoting equity in maternal care, we can work towards reducing maternal mortality rates and ensuring all women have access to safe and respectful maternity services.



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