UW Health physician working to improve healthcare equity

Dr Jacqueline Peebles

MADISON, Wis. — Dr. Jacqueline Peebles isn’t just helping mothers at UW Health, she’s trying to make a change.

Peebles, an obstetrics and gynecology physician, primarily works with new or expecting mothers.

“I love working with patients through the joys and challenges that come with a new baby,” Peebles said in a statement Monday. “Breastfeeding can be difficult for many, but it has so many health benefits for mother and baby, so I work to support new mothers to breastfeed when possible.”

Her work not only helps newborns but can also help mend racial disparities.

On average, Black mothers breastfeed at significantly lower rates than white mothers. Peebles is trying to bridge that gap, joining the Maternal Child Health Steering Group. The group works to improve maternal and infant health outcomes among Black families.

She also works with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s BEAM Program, which gives mentors to students who come from historically marginalized backgrounds.

“I don’t think anyone who goes through medical school can make it without good mentors,” Peebles said. “By supporting our students through their medical education, we increase representation in medicine, and that representation matters a lot.”

As UW Health celebrates Black History Month, Peebles sees a bright future ahead for Black healthcare professionals.

“When I think about young Black people considering a career in medicine, I say go for it,” she said. “The more folks we have doing this work the better it will be for all of healthcare.”