MSU Sociology alumna working to increase breastfeeding awareness, health access

September 24, 2020 - Karessa Weir

Dr. Angela Johnson, MSU Sociology alumna, has been advocating breastfeeding and support, as well as increasing health access for women and at-risk individuals. She works with the Program for Multicultural Health and Community Health Services, part of Michigan Medicine (formerly known as University of Michigan Health System).

This June, Dr. Johnson held a presentation at the Virtual Experience Birth and Breastfeeding Conference with 94 attendees.

"There was lots of great discussion at that conference and lots of praise and applause for providing a sociological view of materal health support needed to address long-standing inequities," Dr. Johnson reported.

She is currently chairing a research committee for the Black Breastfeeding Caucaus which is developing a scoping review paper focused on effective national interventions that support breastfeeding.

Following that, in July, Dr. Johnson presented "The Cumulative Cost of COVID on Communities of Color" to attendees at the virtual statewide Michigan Home Visiting Program Annual Conference with more than 40 attendees.

Next, she designed a "Breastfeeding Fact or Fiction" trivia-style game for a local non-profit agency to teach the importance of breastfeeding to a group of new and expectant mothers. "I had a great time with 16 or so new moms talking and laughing with them as they were surprised at some (not all) of the answers," Dr. Johnson said.

Dr. Johnson continues to run a qualitative research study (December 2019-present) designed to test and strengthen the cultural relevancy of a group mental health program, Mom Power, which is part of Zero to Thrive, Women and Infant Mental Program at Michigan Medicine, as well as working in community health promotion and health education programs as part of her outreach role.

Finally, as part of her team in the Women in Infant Mental Health Program, Dr. Johnson submitted manuscript abstract "Racial Bias and Discrimination versus Childhood Trauma or Depression as Potential Barrier to Breastfeeding" based on resutls from a recent study they conducted.

Congratulations on your many, many accomplishments, Dr. Johnson. The MSU Department of Sociology is proud to have you as an alumna!