Infant Mortality Reduction Summit scheduled for September 26-27


CONTACT: Janice Smiley, M.S.N., ADPH
(334) 206-5675
CONTACT: Regina Traylor, DHSc, MSN, RN, Gift of Life Foundation
(334) 273-3075
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 7.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017. To raise awareness about infant mortality and the impact it has on families, communities and the state of Alabama, the 2019 Infant Mortality Reduction Summit: Community Interventions Combatting Infant Mortality will be held on Thursday and Friday, September 26-27, at Montgomery Marriott Prattville Hotel & Conference Center at Capitol Hill.

“According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, societal and health system factors both contribute to the high rates of poor health outcomes. Health outcomes are molded by the environment in which people are born, live, work, play and age and not simply by health behaviors of the individual. These factors which contribute to health outcomes are formed by the historical, social, political and economic forces in the individual’s environment,” Perinatal Health Division Director Janice Smiley, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), said.

“Therefore, improving birth outcomes, reducing maternal, fetal and infant deaths requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both societal and health systems factors,” Ms. Smiley said. “This summit will provide the opportunity for the community to come to learn of current efforts within the state to address poor birth outcomes, as well as discuss potential solutions to reduce maternal, fetal and infant mortality.”

Dr. Regina Traylor, executive director for the Gift of Life Foundation, said, “Infant mortality is a persistent problem that touches families of all ethnicities, and socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. For several years, Gift of Life, Birmingham Healthy Start and March of Dimes have been working at the community level to address barriers that prevent a healthy birth outcome and educating women and their families on ways to reduce their risks. Partnering with ADPH to present this summit is just another way we are empowering the community with strategies that will affect positive change. Using a boots-on-the-ground, collaborative approach is an important way that we can spare Alabama communities the pain of infant and pregnancy loss.”

The kickoff of the summit will be the Racial Equity Institute’s presentation of its Groundwater Approach. Day two will consist of local and nationally known speakers addressing the topics of implicit bias, fatherhood involvement, as well as the impacts of stress and bias on infant and maternal mortality.

Interested persons should register at; the cost is $40. ADPH is applying for continuing education units for nurses and social workers. For more information, call (334) 272-1820.

The summit is sponsored by ADPH, Birmingham Healthy Start Plus, The Gift of Life and March of Dimes.

County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.