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2011 Infant Mortality Awareness Month Events

Syracuse Stroll: Celebrating Every Baby’s First Birthday

To commemorate National Infant Mortality Awareness Month and to further draw attention to local community efforts working toward reducing infant mortality, Syracuse Healthy Start sponsored the Syracuse Stroll. The event was attended by clients, home visiting staff, community partners, and many concerned community members. The event's purpose was to increase awareness of infant mortality by positively focusing on celebrating every baby's first birthday.
An editorial ran in the local paper about the stroll, and Your News Now featured a piece on the evnt. Below are some pictures from the event.

Visit this album to see event photos.

MomsFirst: Happy Health Babies Event

In recognition and support of National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, recognized in September each year; MomsFirst, a Healthy Start grantee, partnered with the CEOCG Baby and Mommy Support Program (BAMS) to host the 4th Annual Happy Healthy Babies Event (HHB).

Please click here for an event summary. Photos from the event can be seen here: http://gallery.me.com/lydiahill911#102217.

Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, the grantee for the Magnolia Project federal Healthy Start program, hosted a variety of events in the community for National Infant Mortality Awareness Month.

The month kicked off at the minor league Jacksonville Suns baseball grounds. Nearly 25 Jacksonville-area doctors took their life-saving efforts out to the ballpark as participants in the second annual Rounds at the Grounds: Baseball for Babies celebrity softball tournament. The Coalition raised $45,000 to continue a community education and awareness campaign around infant mortality. Magnolia Project staff volunteered, handing out fans and baseball cards with health lifestyle messages out to Rounds and Suns game attendees.

During a two-day trip to Jacksonville, National Infant Mortality Spokesperson Tonya Lewis Lee met with health care providers, local barbers and college students — to discuss each group’s role in preventing poor birth outcomes. She presented to physicians and other health care providers at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and UF/Shands Jacksonville and then attended a Meet and Greet with local barbers that have been trained on infant mortality and healthy lifestyles. The event allowed for an open conversation about the importance of engaging men.

More than 50 college students participated in the Office of Minority Health’s Preconception Peer Educator training. Students from the University of North Florida, Edward Waters College, Chamberlain College of Nursing and Jacksonville JobCorps were certified as peer educators and developed community action plans to implement on campus and in the community to reduce health disparities. Magnolia Project staff led a round of the Life Course game for all the participants to illustrate key concepts of the life course framework.

The Family Tree Healthy Start

Infant Mortality event in conjunction with the local FIMR

Many community partners and special guests gathered at the Memorial Site at Rotary Point for the 3rd annual event in September, designated nationally as “Infant Mortality Awareness Month”. Speakers shared important information and insights about efforts to address and improve our state and regional birth outcomes. Preterm birth continues to be the leading cause of infant death in Louisiana, while motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of child deaths. Dr. Kenneth Brown reminded those in attendance that racial disparities in birth outcomes and infant mortality continue to raise concern. Evelyn Landry talked about the importance of promoting breastfeeding as the ‘norm” for all babies, emphasizing the critical importance of providing mother’s milk to infants born prematurely. And Donna Broussard commended the FIMR partners and other stakeholders for their commitment and collaborative work to raise community awareness and provide relevant education regarding the health of women, infants, children and families in Acadiana.

Baltimore Healthy Start

As part of Baltimore Healthy Start’s Cradle of Hope™ Lecture Series, Dr. Michael Lu spoke at Morgan’s Fine Arts Center on September 23rd to an auditorium full of health practitioners and students. 

Read a summary and see photos here.

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHIN)

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHIN) program of the Prevention Partnerships for Children the non-profit arm of the Children’s Services Council in Boynton Beach, Fl  celebrated September’s Infant Mortality Awareness month with an exciting BIG birthday party on Sept 17th. Local families with the greatest reason for concern about their babies’ survival to their first birthday celebrated with a special party at Jay Ministries in Riviera Beach. The event brought together more than 100 parents and their year-old toddlers from four of the Children’s Services Council’s Bridges programs and the Women’s Health Initiative for a day of celebrating their babies’ survival past the one year mark. The event  included lots of fun family activities, birthday cakes and gifts for the kids. The event was also able to provide information and resources for families on how to maintain the health of their babies and who to talk to if they have concerns. The day was a BIG success with babies and families having fun and bringing much needed attention to the disparities in Infant Mortality. See photos here.

On September 24th The Community Voice (WHIN program) hosted its 2nd annual graduates celebration luncheon. This event honored the over 580 people that have completed this training to combat Black Infant Mortality. The luncheon included guest speakers, good food and was dedicated to the graduates who voluntarily participated in a series of five classes to learn about positive lifestyle and perinatal health to reduce infant mortality. The Community Voice participants used this celebratory platform to discuss how they have been able to inform and educate the people they come in contact with about Black Infant Mortality.

The WHIN project also distributed Infant Mortality awareness flyers throughout Palm Beach County utilizing stake holders and  providers as points of distribution. The WHIN team worked very hard during the month to bring increased awareness around this critical issue.

Caring for 2

In recognitions of Infant Mortality Awareness Month,  Caring for 2 conducted the following activities/events..  

See Event photos here.

Economic Opportunity Commision of Nassau County, Inc.

Downstate New York Healthy Start

In recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness month (September) the EOC-DNYHS consortia conducted an awareness event during the monthly consortium meeting. The consortium meeting was held on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 from 9:30-11:30 am. Mercy Medical Center hosted the meeting; providing space, breakfast, and even a guest speaker to address
this growing concern for Nassau County communities.

Read the full event details here.

Healthy Birth Initiatives

Portland, Oregon

  • Multnomah County Health Department's Director's Notes - An article featuring the HBI program, Infant Mortality disparities in Multnomah County and the IMAM Recognition at the Consortium Meeting in the Health Department Director's Monthly Newsletter.
  • Newsletter- The HBI Newsletter featured a front page story acknowledging September as Infant Mortality Awareness Month.
  • Canvass- The Consortium Chair (LaCarla Brown) and Co-Chair (Naomi Perkins) lead a canvass and distribution of fliers throughout the HBI project area:  *Recognizing September as Infant Mortality Awareness Month   *Sharing information about the disparities in Infant Mortality and Premature Birth Rates of African Americans  *Education on the HBI program's mission, purpose and the support and services we provide.  *Inviting the community to come out and attend the recognition of IMAM at the HBI Consortium meeting.
  • Consortium Meeting - During the Consortium meeting that was held on September 21, 2011, the HBI Consortium decided to recognize and highlight three of our community partners who are actively work towards reducing IM in our community. Community partners who were recognized during the meeting included:  Urban League of Portland, March of Dimes and International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC). Also, during the meeting we heard from consumers (past and present) who gave personal testimonies of how the HBI program has made a difference in their lives. Other highlights during the meeting included:  a distribution of water bottles in celebration of the IMAM Campaign, followed by a cutting of cake "Every Child Deserves a First Birthday" celebrating all of the children who reached their first birthday and beyond.
  • Local Newspaper - The local Portland Observer Newspaper featured the recognition given to our community partners during September's Consortium meeting: The Portland Observer - September 28, 2011 Edition.

The St. Petersburg Healthy Start Project

To mark the observance of National Infant Mortality Awareness Month in September, the St. Petersburg Healthy Start Federal Project held their 2nd annual walk in an effort to raise awareness about IM. The walk was designed to not only increase public knowledge about this important issue but also show our united effort to make sure our babies have a healthy start. Each step put us that much closer to ending to Infant Mortality. On Saturday, September 24th, councilmen Wenygay Newton and Karl Nurse kicked off the walk with some encouraging words and a reading of the proclamation from the City of St. Petersburg.  There were 36 community members and clients who participated in the walk, along with staff. The walk was held at the Dell Holmes Park in south St. Petersburg at 7am.

Palmetto Healthy Start

South Carolina

Palmetto Healthy Start observed National Infant Mortality Awareness Month by hosting its 5th Heroes in the Field Luncheon honoring five individuals recognized for their contribution to decreasing the infant mortality rate in South Carolina, a symposium and their first Little Heroes Baby Shower. These events were held on Thursday, September 29, 2011.  On Friday, September 30, 2011 Palmetto Healthy Start asked parents, family members, friends, health care works and community organizations who have been touched by the loss of a pregnancy or death of an infant to wear pink and blue ribbons in observance of Infant Mortality Awareness Day.

See event photos here.

Missouri Bootheel Healthy Start

Missouri Bootheel Regional Consortium/Healthy Start had a total of 6 proclamation signings and 1 signing with the Governor that included St. Louis Healthy Start, Kansas City Healthy Start, and the State Title V MCH Director. A MCH Life Course Workshop with a 366 Balloon release was also held.

See various MBRC event photos here.

Louisville Metro Healthy Start

In recognition of Infant awareness month, “Celebrate 366”, Louisville Metro Healthy Start held two free community events.  The first was a “Mother’s Day Out” held on September 16th. 50 participants attended this event.  It was open to all Louisville metro area pregnant women and their partners.  The participants enjoyed a day of informational sessions on how to have a healthy pregnancy, nutrition, breastfeeding, family planning, and keeping your baby safe.  Lunch and door prizes were provided. 

The second event was a town Hall meeting held on Thursday, September 29th. Over fifty community members participated.  The forum fostered stimulating discussions about mother and infant health and infant death. The discussion focused on infant mortality rates in Louisville and in Kentucky. The panelist talked about the root causes of infant mortality. The group brainstormed as a community about strategies to decrease infant mortality. 

Panelist included, Kara Dietrich-Brown, Associate Director of Program Services for the March of Dimes.  Her presentation focused on how pre-term and low birth weight births impact infant mortality. Olugbemisola A. Obi, M.D, Associate Professor of Pediatric, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine. Dr. Obi discussed causes of infant death in our community, from a physician’s perspective, and what she is faced with on a daily basis in the hospital setting as a neonatologist.  Kenneth Ramos, PhD., a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director of the Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville, discussed how environmental factors in our community can impact infant mortality. Erika Janes,RN, Coordinator, Safe Kids Louisville & Jefferson County, a program led by Kosair Children's Hospital Office of Child Advocacy discussed the leading causes of child and infant death, including sudden unexpected death, SUDS, safe sleeping, car seat asphyxia, and other causes.

Informational booths and refreshments were available for participants.  The evening concluded with a balloon release in remembrance of those infants that did not see “Day 366”.

Photos from both events can be seen here.

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Saving Our Nation's Babies: The Impact of the Federal Healthy Start Initiative

Check our our 2nd Edition! It chronicles the birth of Healthy Start and NHSA and includes profiles and photographs from the federally-funded Healthy Start Initiatives.