Community organizations join forces to educate on black infant mortality

| August 9, 2016
A number of groups have banded together to address the problem of infant mortality in the black community.

A number of groups have banded together to address the problem of infant mortality in the black community.

By Stephanie C. Woodson

Historian Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.-Eta Upsilon Zeta Chapter

On Tuesday, Aug.2, three community organizations presented an informative listening session focused on the issue of black infant mortality in the 46806 zip code. “Healing our Community” was hosted by The Fort Wayne Urban League, Women’s Health Link and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.-Eta Upsilon Zeta Chapter.  This event was funded by Parkview Hospital’s Community Health Improvement Program.

The event was held at the McMillen Center, and featured a panel of local OB/GYNs including, Dr. Kristine Francis of Parkview Hospital, Dr. Lora Overton and Dr. Elicia Harris of Women’s Health Advantage.

During this educational program, nearly 40 attendees learned of the prevalence of black infant mortality, specifically within the 46806 zip code. Panelists explained the 46806 zip code area has the third highest infant mortality rate in the state of Indiana, most notably affecting families of color.

When it comes to effectively combating the issue of infant mortality, Indiana is ranked 39th in the nation. The physicians also explained the many social factors which affect infant mortality rates, such as socioeconomic status, access to healthy food, knowledge of community resources, proper prenatal care, stigmas related to breastfeeding and overall lack of education.

After the panelists’ presentations, panelists and audience members discussed potential solutions. Attendees advocated for continued education through community programming, and specifically encouraged mothers to engage in healthy lifestyle choices to increase the health of infants.

“Healing our Community” also featured entertainment by the Competition Maverick Steppers from Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy. This group of teenage girls is nationally recognized and is led by Principal Tameka Wilson.

Several vendors from local health agencies were also in attendance, including Managed Health Service (MHS), Neighborhood Health Clinics, A Hope Center, Women’s Health Link, Parkview Hospital, Tobacco Free Allen County and Health Visions of Fort Wayne. Each agency was equipped with educational literature regarding healthy mothers and healthy infants.

For more information on black infant mortality rates and women’s health, information on how you can help and a list of community resources, please contact the Healing our Community Committee at (260)745-3100.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Community, Health, Local

About the Author ()

Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

Comments are closed.