The EveryOne Reach One Infant Mortality Task Force is continuing its efforts to reduce the number of babies dying before their first birthday by hosting an Infant Mortality Conference on Friday, September 27, 2019 at Sinclair Community College from 8:00 am – 3:45 pm. The theme of the conference is Their Story is Our Story, which highlights the devastating impact of infant mortality in our community.

The conference is designed to increase community awareness and 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: Safe Sleep in Montgomery County, Managing Maternal Health, Fathering with a Purpose, Community Resources Increasing Infant Vitality, Reducing Infant Mortality and Achieving Equity through the Social Determinants of Health, and Race-Based Trauma and Trauma Informed Care. In addition, local parents impacted by infant mortality will take part in a panel discussion to discuss their experiences.

“We have found that Black babies are dying at a rate 4x 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 Charles Johnson who is the founder of 4Kira4Moms,
a nonprofit that is dedicated to changing systems to better prevent birth-related deaths. The organization was founded as the result of a tragic event in 2016, when Johnson’s wife Kira unexpectedly lost her life in the hospital, shortly after giving birth to the couple’s second child. 4Kira4Moms advocates for improved maternal health policies and regulations; educates the public about the impact of maternal mortality in communities; provides peer support to victims’ family and friends; and promotes discussion of maternal mortality as a human rights issue.

Johnson has shared his story and advocated for change through countless live events and media appearances all over the country, including at the March for Moms rally in Washington, D.C., last year. Last September he testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health about the need to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017 – which was passed by Congress and signed into law.

Also speaking at the conference will be Tiffany Terry, a Birth and Postpartum Doula, presenting on “Ensuring Babies Reach Their First Birthday”, and Jonathan Thackeray, MD, presenting on “Shifting the Conversation from Mortality to Vitality: A Call to Action.”

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 birth weight 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.

For more information visit phdmc.org or call (937) 225-5700.

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