Doula training to be held in Boyne City in May 2023

New Medicaid coverage of doula services expected to increase demand

BOYNE CITY – Pregnant individuals and their families in Michigan have a new birthing option that is covered by Medicaid as of Jan. 1, 2023 – doula services. Michigan Medicaid insurance will now cover different types of doula services, including community-based doulas, prenatal doulas, labor and birth doulas, and postpartum doulas.

Savanah Cool, Director of the Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalition of Charlevoix, Emmet, and Northern Antrim Counties, said doula services are another avenue for helping to ensure maternal and infant health, meeting one of the GSC’s core objectives to increase the chances that children are born healthy. 

To meet the expected need for additional doulas in Northern Michigan, the collaborative will be hosting a doula training series in May 2023. A doula is a non-clinical, trained professional who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to pregnant individuals during the prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum periods.

“Countless scientific trials examining doula care demonstrate remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both pregnant, birthing, and postpartum people and their baby,” said Cool. “Doula services have been shown to positively impact social determinants of health, support birth equity, and decrease existing health and racial disparities. Doulas have a positive impact on the well-being of the entire family.”

The GSC is partnering with the Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalition of Cheboygan, Otsego, and Presque Isle to bring the DONA International Birth Doula training to Boyne City. This four-day session is open to any individual who is interested in becoming a birth doula. It will take place May 5-8, 2023; attendance at all four days is mandatory. The training will be held at the Boyne District Library in Boyne City with trainer Jessica English. Cost is $699, with financial scholarships available to support individuals who may not otherwise be able to attend. 

“The GSC is bringing this training to our community to reduce barriers to professional entry for individuals interested in joining the professional doula community and to meet the increasing demand of individuals and families who may now be able to access doula services via Michigan Medicaid, in addition to private insurance, and/or private pay,” Cool said. 

The GSC has secured $7,500 in grant funding, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child Care, to support scholarships. Those requesting financial assistance must commit to serving Michigan Medicaid recipients and their families.

If you are interested in registering for the doula training; would like to learn more about the training; are interested in applying for financial assistance; or would like to learn more about Michigan’s coverage of doula services, visit

Contact GSC Director Savanah Cool,, with any questions. 

Additional family resources: The GSC remains committed to improving maternal and infant health and actively working to increase the chances that children are born healthy. The GSC has been working in partnership with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan to create a Family Planning and Pregnancy Resource Guide. The guide will provide public health information and connection to local resources for individuals and families who are considering growing their family and those who are currently pregnant.


PHOTO CAPTION, TOP OF PAGE: DONA International Approved Birth Doula Trainer, Jessica English (center), is pictured in action during a workshop.


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