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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Enhancing the Wisconsin Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) to Measure Housing as a Pathway of Racial Disparities in Health Outcomes

This project will generate new data on an important and relatively understudied area– the relationship between housing insecurity and quality on the health of families with infants. By leveraging resources from an existing health surveillance system, the Wisconsin Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), which is administered to women who recently gave birth, new data documenting experiences among childbearing women with housing insecurity including evictions or forced moves, and persistent safety and quality issues in the home, such as lack of access to utilities and exposure to pests will be analyzed. Pivotally, the project will work with Wisconsin Tribes, in partnership with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, to oversample women who identify as American Indian/Alaskan Native. Engagement with Tribal leaders and community members during all phases of research will be critical in the success of the project.

The project will explore associations between stability and quality of housing during pregnancy and various short and intermediate outcomes including utilization of health care services, low-birth weight and prematurity for infant children.  We will examine, with our new robust sample, whether these associations differ – if at all — by maternal race (African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, white and other), and urban versus rural residence.  Understanding and documenting the impact of stable, safe housing on marginalized populations is crucial for systems and policy change to achieve health equity.

Sheri Johnson
Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences

Marah A. Curtis
Associate Professor of Social Work

Nora Cate Schaeffer
Professor of Sociology

Fiona Weeks
Epidemiologist, Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Stephanie Hartwig
Research Specialist, University of Wisconsin Survey Centers

Terry Kruse
Perinatal Nurse Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Katie Gillespie
Unit Supervisor, Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Meghan Porter
Epidemiologist, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center