Our Story

Our Journey: From Athletic Fields to Maternal Health

Growing up our family was immersed in athletics, where proactive team-based healthcare is a way of life. We got to know the teams of healthcare professionals, athletes, coaches and support staff. I thought interprofessional team-based healthcare with everyone working towards the common goal of optimal health + performance was the standard in healthcare.

My whole family grew up in healthcare as my grandfather was a physician and my dad, John Lombardo followed in his footsteps as a Family Medicine/Sports Medicine Physician. John was one of 5 physicians responsible for formalizing Sports Medicine as a medical specialty and establishing American Medical Society for Sports Medicine all while taking care of Family Practice patients and athletes at all levels from weekend warriors through Olympic Champions. My grandmother was a nurse and my mom, Karen Lombardo, followed in her footsteps as a Nurse. Karen was a School Nurse and volunteer extraordinaire.

We learned our family was shaped by the teams we were part of, including the Cleveland CAVS, Ohio State University athletics and Olympic athletes along with so many medical groups, especially the AMSSM founders who serve on our Board of Directors.

Recognizing the Gap

Through graduate studies, I quickly realized the healthcare I experienced growing up in competitive athletics far exceeds standard of care. This led my professional journey back towards athletics and corporate wellness as both strive to optimize health + well-being. The shift in mindset from a performance focus takes health to a place of abundance + creativity.

Watching my friends struggle after having a baby, opened my eyes to the challenges within women’s health and this became personal. This has led to an endless number of questions + conversations around optimizing recovery from pregnancy + delivery, highlighting a significant gap in healthcare. Reality, we’ve only just scratched the surface.

Building the Team

My annual OBGYN appointment with my physician, Carol Greco is where it started. I realized what I was seeing was far from unique and Carol volunteered to join the conversation. My friend and fellow dietitian, Kara McMickle was eager to get involved as she experienced this firsthand. Carol and Kara’s support and interest in joining prompted the next step, forming a voluntary advisory team!

Everyone involved was motivated by a blend of personal experience and professional insight, we set out to establish excellence in 4th trimester care. Drawing inspiration from the proactive team-based approach from athletics, a voluntary advisory team comprised of various healthcare disciplines was formed. Our collaborative effort aimed to conceptualize a program offering the proactive team-based care available to athletes to new mothers.

Turning Vision into Reality

Bringing our concept, 4th Trimester Care, to reality required careful planning and advice from a large team of people from all different aspects of life. The first step was establishing a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This required building a team of support, starting with my parents along with dad’s teammates from founding AMSSM, Doug McKeag, Jim Puffer and Lee Rice. Adding the guidance of so many incredibly helpful people, we were able to secure our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in July of 2022.

The Board of Directors was expanded to include additional expertise, adding Joe Briggs, Archie Griffin and Katie Smith. Each brings a wealth of knowledge and invaluable first-hand experience with proactive team-based care as athletes.

So many people have touched and shaped our journey and we are forever grateful for every gift along the way!

Launching with Purpose

The launch of the 4th Trimester Care model in Columbus, OH, marked the beginning of a hands-on journey to elevate maternal healthcare. Starting on a fee-for-service model with patient care grants available, to ensure everyone has access. We quickly learned from the families we served, adapting our program to meet the evolving needs of new mothers and their families. The introduction of 4th Trimester Prep + Recovery + Strong illustrates the power of empowering + engaging education personalized for every family through conversation + connection, ultimately building a trusting relationship.

Empowering with Education, Care + Support

Learning, listening and working towards understanding why is at the cornerstone of everything we do. Our first few patients showed us the power of connection and having someone to call to ask for help. These families gifted us with the opportunity share how proactive team-based healthcare during the 4th trimester can transform the postnatal experience. This doesn’t mean it will be a walk in the park, the difference is having a supportive and reliable team planning + navigating with you.

Incredibly grateful for our first two baby girls, daughters of Chloe + John Truitt and Morgan + Tyler Bilfield. You’re part of our forever family!

Integration and Expansion

We’re now here – working towards integration within the current healthcare system. This step is crucial to ensure care is available to everyone with coverage by insurance. Our incredible team has opened doors to bring 4th Trimester Care into the current healthcare system as a pilot program.

Conversations are ongoing in search of the funding necessary to deliver 4th Trimester Care within the current healthcare system to low-income patients in an area of high maternal mortality, develop technology for scalability, gather outcome data and further engage within the community. Click here to learn more about our next steps and how philanthropic funding leads to endless possibilities to optimize maternal health. We welcome any connections to those who are interested in supporting this journey.

Our Vision for the Future

Our ultimate goal is to make 4th Trimester Care available to every family welcoming a new baby home! Partnership for Proactive Health is dedicated to empowering + engaging education for both healthcare professionals and families, outcomes research to show value and paying it forward through a sustainable model available to everyone. Together, we can transform maternal and infant health building more supportive communities where families can thrive!

Join us on this journey.

Together we are stronger. Interested in sharing your experience + expertise? Click here to apply for our Voluntary Advisory Team.

Partnership for Proactive Health + 4th Trimester Care are dedicated to empowering through education, outcomes and paying it forward with care + support to optimize health + well-being! Incredibly grateful for everyone who has inspired, empowered and gifted us with support on this journey. We are beyond excited to write a new chapter on women’s health, starting with the 4th trimester.


Erin Lombardo, PhD, MPH, RDN
Executive Director | Partnership for Proactive Health

Learn More About Partnership for Proactive Health