Working to Reduce Infant Deaths in Montgomery County

Conference to Address Unacceptable Racial Disparities

The EveryOne Reach One Infant Mortality Task Force is hosting a conference to continue its efforts in reducing the number of babies dying before their first birthday on Friday, September 28, 2018 at Sinclair Community College from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.

The conference is designed to increase the community’s awareness and ability to address the factors that contribute to infant mortality and poor maternal health outcomes. Attendees will learn about the significant disparity gap between the races and recommended prevention strategies. Session presentations include: The Story Beyond the Numbers, Supporting Fatherhood Engagement, Addressing Disparities in Breastfeeding, Reducing Preterm Births, Who’s Receiving Adequate Prenatal Care?, The Fight for Birth Equity and more! Local experts will also take part in a “Health in All Policies” panel discussion.

“We have found that Black babies are dying at a rate of 2.5x that of White babies in Montgomery County,” said Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County. “That racial disparity is unacceptable in our community and we are working through the EveryOne Reach One Task Force to help reduce that rate.”

The keynote speaker for the event is author, producer and activist Tonya Lewis Lee. She serves as a spokesperson for the A Healthy Baby Begins with You infant mortality awareness campaign which is part of the Office of Minority Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Lewis Lee has reached thousands of people with her message of health, wellness, and advocacy since 2007. She also produced the film Crisis in the Crib: Saving our Nation’s Babies for the Office of Minority Health.

The EveryOne Reach One Infant Mortality Task Force is made up of over 20 Montgomery County organizations that are working collectively to help reduce the infant mortality rate.

Strategies to reduce infant deaths include:

  • Decrease the percentage of preterm and low birthweight babies.
  • Reduce unintended pregnancy by providing education and resources on long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods and access to prenatal care.
  • Engage fathers to support mothers and their children.
  • Reduce the number of mothers who smoke and increase screening for alcohol use.
  • Foster increased educational opportunities for children.
  • Address ways to assist pregnant women to access care early and often.

Media Availability

Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee, author, producer and activist will be available at 10:00 am for media interviews. Media can meet at the security desk in the Great Hall.

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