Opinion: Racism is #1 factor in preterm birth disparity

Op-ed by Dr. Rene’ Settle-Robinson
Published in Milwaukee Times | November 24, 2022

As a black woman Podiatric Surgeon, I know all too well the stressors that contribute to poor health outcomes and healthcare disparities. My Sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, annually contributes to the March of Dimes. As a young girl, I remember trying to fill a page with dimes to donate from my allowance to help Mothers and Babies through pregnancy. It was the March of Dimes that convened a work group of professionals to explore the causes of black-white disparity in preterm birth rates between 2017 and 2019.

After reviewing 456 articles, the work group concluded that the effects of racial prejudice is the number one cause of the healthcare disparity between black women and white women with regard to preterm birth.

The effects of racism include stress from lifelong experiences of discriminatory practices, environmental injustice responsible for exposure to toxins from air pollution, and socioeconomic factors regarding multi-generational poverty.

Racism is experienced by Black people from a young age even when they’re not mature enough to quite figure out exactly what is going on. Prejudicial treatment in primary schooling often results in…..READ FULL ARTICLE>


Dr. Rene’ Settle-Robinson is a Podiatrist, who is working at Outreach Community Healthcare Center, a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her goal is to further her understanding of climate issues and change to fuel her desire for climate action, Dr. Settle-Robinson has been active with the Wisconsin Health Professionals for Climate Action and has served as Chair of its Antiracism Committee. She recognizes the need to grow her leadership skills in community organizing and to mature her voice to successfully articulate the need for climate action. Dr. Settle-Robinson is excited to increase her knowledge, for the sake of successful advocacy, while networking with other like-minded professionals, to achieve effective climate action.