Open Arms Perinatal Services HealthConnect One Accreditation Extended

May 24, 2023 3:30 pm Published by


CHICAGO, IL (May 24, 2023) – HealthConnect One is pleased to announce that Open Arms Perinatal Services has received a three-year accreditation for its Community-Based Doula (CBD) Program, effective from May 18th, 2023, to May 18th, 2026. Open Arms Perinatal has maintained its HealthConnect One Community-Based Doula Accreditation for the past ten years since May 15, 2013. This achievement reflects Open Arms’ commitment to providing high-quality services to their community.

Since 2009, HealthConnect One has collaborated with Open Arms Perinatal Services, providing training, technical assistance, and program development support to help them establish their outreach doula program as well as their provision of community-based doula training. The Open Arms Outreach Doula program was the first community doula program in the nation to achieve HealthConnect One Community-Based Doula Accreditation, based on the evidence-based HealthConnect One community-based doula model. According to Brenda Reyes, HealthConnect One’s Vice President of Training and Curriculum, said, “What an honor it is to see HC One’s Community-Based Doula 5 Essential Components implemented with fidelity and commitment by Open Arms Perinatal Services’ entire team for over 10 years. Their dedication, love, commitment, and advocacy for the families they serve is valuable and it lets us know how important it is for birth and racial equity. May we continue to be inspired and celebrate the wonderful work being led by Black, Indigenous and People of Color across the country.”

The CBD Perinatal Services (OAPS) has served over 300 birthing families since its implementation of the program in 2009. The outcomes of the OAPS remain strong and indicative of the effectiveness of their CBD program. In fact, 82% of births were attended by community-based doulas. According to HC One standards, OAPS is meeting at least 80% of the births attended and supported by community-based doulas, especially during the global COVID-19 pandemic when so many births could not be attended. In July 2022, OAPS completed the HealthConnect One Community-Based Doula training program. Over 60 people applied for the training, but only 19 participants were selected. Open Arms Executive Director, Dila Perera, MPH, MSW, said, “The model works and has helped make a huge impact on the community that we serve. As the first organization to be accredited for our Outreach Doula program, we are grateful to continue to demonstrate the power and impact of community-based doulas to improve maternal health, infant health, and early learning. Our communities need community-based doulas and authentic approaches like those fostered by HealthConnect One.”

Open Arms Perinatal Services has achieved the highest level of accreditation for an organization providing community-based doula programs, demonstrating substantial adherence with the standards set forth by the national committee. “The accreditation will allow us to continue to do the work we are doing and allow us to train more doulas and trainers in the future.” said Memorie Gladstone.

HealthConnect One is excited to continue its partnership with Open Arms Perinatal Services, recognizing their commitment to providing programs and services that are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable.


Media Contact: Gabrielle Grimes, HealthConnect One Digital Communications Manager

Tel: (302)632-7371 Email:

About HealthConnect One. HealthConnect One is a nationally recognized nonprofit training and technical assistance agency that uses innovative, community-centered approaches to support direct-service providers in promoting the health of mothers, infants, and birthing families. Operating with the awareness that birth equity is fundamental to racial equity, HealthConnect One collaborates with community-based organizations and advocates, to train community health workers, connect community-based initiatives, and mobilize diverse stakeholders to build policies and programs that improve birth equity. Learn more about our work here: