Designing and Delivering Preconception Care: The Opportunity to Integrate Strategic Design Thinking and Global Public Health Priorities

By Denise C. Tahara and Mary McBride.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Improved pregnancy outcomes and maternal health remain
public health priorities worldwide and are included in both
the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Healthy
People 2020. Of the developed countries, the United States
ranks 28th in infant mortality despite having the highest
per capita healthcare expenditure. Addressing known risk
factors with the goal of optimizing maternal and child
health can be achieved through well-designed preconception
care. The authors suggest that if the highest per capita
health expenditure results in a worldwide rank of 28, then
there is a need to consider the design of the system;
specifically, to re-imagine the design and delivery of
preconception care to focus on reducing infant and maternal
health risk factors. Our study discusses the major
modifiable preconception risk factors contributing to
adverse birth outcomes, racial and socioeconomic disparities
and the role strategic design can play in developing
comprehensive risk-reduction interventions. This study
explores the potential of strategic design thinking and
design management, not only to improve adverse pregnancy
outcomes and reduce birth defects, but also to provide the
additional benefits of engaging families and communities in
improving long-term health outcomes that can improve the
productivity of their families and communities.

Keywords: Preconception Health, Strategic Design, Design Management, Risk Reduction, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Community Engagement

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp.273-282. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 775.127KB).

Dr. Denise C. Tahara

Assistant Professor and Director, MPH Studies, Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA

Dr. Tahara is an Assistant Professor at New York Medical College and Director of MPH Studies. Before joining NYMC full time, she was an independent consultant working to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery systems. Performance improvement continues to be her primary area of research. Other areas of research include improving birth outcomes and maternal health through preconception healthcare, educating the public about healthy lifestyle choices and increasing sustainability practices in healthcare. Dr. Tahara received her BS from Cornell University, her MBA and Ph.D. from New York University and her CPA from New York State. While at NYU Dr. Tahara studied operations management and quality improvement with Dr. Deming.

Dr. Mary McBride

Director, Masters in Design Management Program, Pratt Institute, Valhalla, New York, USA

Dr. McBride is the Director of the Design Management Graduate Program at Pratt Institute. It was the first DM program accredited in the United States and now enjoys an international reputation for providing executive education for design professionals that will enable them to assume strategic roles in their organizations and create triple bottom line advantage by design. Dr. McBride received her business training at NYU’s Graduate School of Business and also earned an MA and Ph.D. from NYU specializing in Marketing and Media Communications and Systems Analysis with a focus on the design of organizational systems and management structures for peak performance. Dr. McBride is the founding partner of Strategies for Planned Change, an international consulting group specializing in strategic management and leadership development.


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