Honoring Shantay Davies-Balch a True Black Magical Woman on this 23rd day of February

A population health expert and strategist, Shantay leads statewide maternal and child health equity initiatives to address disparities among Black women and babies with expertise is preterm birth and infant and maternal morbidity and mortality. Her focus is engaging cross-sector stakeholders to build policy, community, and clinical infrastructure.

Shantay graduated Summa Cum Laude from Fresno Pacific University and received her MBA from John Hopkins, with a specialty in healthcare. In addition, she is an accredited doula, certified community lactation educator, certificated newborn care specialist, and certificated Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) screener.


In 2017, Johns Hopkins featured her as “driving changes in the healthcare industry,” in 2018 she was awarded ’40 Under 40’ and was recognized by United States Senator, Kamala Harris for her leadership in Black Maternal Health. In 2019, she was invited by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to record a Black Preterm Birth story, which is permanently archived in the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.


She has been a key partner in securing funds specifically for Black Fresno women from private foundations, and serves as a strategic partner to the CA Department of Public Health for implementation of the Perinatal Equity Initiative, an annual state enhancement of $8M for Black Infant Health jurisdictions, in addition to her contribution to the equity language used in the final PEI legislation.

In 2017, she launched the Healthy Black Babies Fund with the aim to move from programmatic to transformational work in the Black community and in 2019, BLACK Wellness & Prosperity Center the first Black led non-profit in Fresno County established specifically to address Black Maternal and infant mortality and Black preterm births. BLACK is focused on improving wellbeing and prosperity in the Black community with sustained efforts to improve Black health outcomes, and effectively unite and elevate the Black voice to build sustainable infrastructure and create BLACKBelonging, Love, Affinity, Community, and Kindred legacies.

Shantay is a First 5 Fresno County appointed Commissioner, native Fresnan, and mother of three.


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