Newswise — Rutgers School of Public Health’s Slawa Rokicki, instructor in the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy, and Leslie M. Kantor, professor and chair of the Department of Urban-Global Public Health, have received a Burke Foundation grant to utilize existing data from doula programs to develop a tool that can be used by programs throughout New Jersey to assess service models that can lead to program sustainability. 

The faculty will use the grant to conduct a budget impact analysis based on current programs and develop a user-friendly tool that community doula programs can use to assess how their client mix and policy changes will impact short- and long-term program sustainability.

“Our analysis will help determine the resources needed to implement high-quality community doula programs and the impact of the new policy in New Jersey that provides Medicaid coverage for doulas on program budgets,” says Rokicki.

In addition to providing emotional and physical support and addressing social determinants of health throughout pregnancy and postpartum, doulas play a vital role in advocating for clients and combatting the discrimination and racial bias that women of color routinely experience in the health system.

“We hope that our work will be illuminating for doula service programs throughout New Jersey,” adds Kantor. 


About the Rutgers School of Public Health

The Rutgers School of Public Health - New Jersey’s leading academic institution in public health - is committed to advancing health and wellbeing and preventing disease throughout New Jersey, the United States, and the world, by preparing students as public health leaders, scholars, and practitioners; conducting public health research and scholarship; engaging collaboratively with communities and populations; and actively advocating for policies, programs, and services through the lens of equity and social justice. Learn how the Rutgers School of Public Health is "keeping the ‘public’ in public health,” by visiting them at

About The Burke Foundation

The Burke Foundation is a private foundation based in Princeton, New Jersey. It funds transformative maternal health and early childhood initiatives to foster the healthy development of families and communities in New Jersey. The Burke Foundation focuses on three key areas: healthy pregnancies and births, positive parent-child relationships, and high-quality early care and learning. Learn more at