Infant Mortality Reduction Summit scheduled for September 14


CONTACT: Janice Smiley, M.S.N., ADPH
(334) 206-5675
CONTACT: Cheryl Davis, DHA, Gift of Life Foundation
(334) 273-3084
CONTACT: Rickey G. Green, MSCN, Birmingham Healthy Start Plus
(205) 305-9293

Infant mortality continues to be a significant, complex problem in Alabama, with an overall rate of 9.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016. To raise awareness about infant mortality and the impact it has on families, communities and the state of Alabama, the 2018 Infant Mortality Reduction Summit: The State of Infant Mortality in Alabama will be held on Friday, September 14, at Auburn University at Montgomery.

Arthur R. James, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., will be the keynote speaker. Dr. James is a nationally renowned obstetrician, gynecologist, and pediatrician. In addition, the summit will feature a panel discussion by members of Alabama families who have experienced a fetal or infant loss.

“Infant mortality is a persistent problem that touches families of all ethnicities, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds,” said Cheryl G. Davis, Executive Director for Gift of Life Foundation. “For the past 30 years, we have been working to address the devastating effects of infant mortality and educating women and their families on ways to reduce their risks. Partnering with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to present this summit is just another way to provide this valuable information to the community.”

ADPH Perinatal Health Division Director Janice Smiley said, “Many factors contribute to infant mortality, including access to health care, premature births, racial disparities and unsafe sleep environments. This summit will allow us to discuss both the problems and potential solutions to reduce infant mortality. It is fitting that this summit is being held during September, Infant Mortality Awareness Month.”

Since 1991, Birmingham Healthy Start Plus has been on its journey aiming to improve perinatal health outcomes and reduce disparities in infant mortality and adverse perinatal outcomes, among eligible women residing in the cities of Birmingham, Bessemer and Fairfield, all located in Jefferson County. Rickey G. Green, chief executive officer of Birmingham Healthy Start Plus, said, “We are pleased to partner with ADPH and the Gift of Life Foundation on this worthwhile cause of raising the awareness of the problem of infant mortality in the state of Alabama.”

Interested persons are invited to register and attend the summit at no charge. The summit will be held at AUM’s Taylor Center, 7430 East Drive, Montgomery. Register at Continuing education units are available for nurses and social workers onsite for $25. Payment must be by check and should be made payable to the Gift of Life Foundation. For more information, call (334) 272-1820.

The summit is sponsored by the Auburn University at Montgomery Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Birmingham Healthy Start Plus, The Gift of Life, the March of Dimes and ADPH.