B’more for Healthy Babies Celebrates Increasing Survival Rates
From Baltimore City Health Department: Last night, health officials and families from across Baltimore City joined in an evening of celebrating nine years of success in reducing infant mortality rates. Close to 1,500 families attended the event honoring the B’more for Healthy Babies (BHB) initiative at the National Aquarium at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
In 2009, Baltimore City had the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the nation. B’more for Healthy Babies was founded to ensure that all Baltimore babies are born at a healthy weight, full-term and ready to thrive in healthy families. Through BHB’s programs and policy advocacy, the infant mortality rate in Baltimore City has been reduced to its lowest point in history. Baltimore’s infant mortality rate has dropped by 36 percent, while the racial disparity in infant mortality between black and white infants has reduced by 38 percent during same time period.
“For nearly a decade, B’more for Healthy Babies has been invested in making Baltimore’s families healthier,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “With an all-hands-on-deck approach, we can ensure that all of Baltimore’s babies are born healthy and grow to be productive citizens in our communities.”
B’more for Healthy Babies works to prevent the two leading causes of infant death: premature birth/low birth weight birth and deaths due to unsafe sleep. The initiative utilizes a collective impact approach to improve an often-fragmented health care system to reach all of Baltimore’s families with quality maternal and infant health services and support.
“Since the beginning of B’More for Healthy Babies, Baltimore’s infant mortality rate has declined and disparities between black and white infant deaths have markedly decreased. The city’s teen birth rate has also dropped by more than half,” said Baltimore City Interim Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller. “We know we still have a long way to go, but we are proud of these major successes and dedicated to the interventions that we know work.”
The initiative is led by the Baltimore City Health Department with lead implementation partners Family League of Baltimore and HealthCare Access Maryland. More than 100 partner agencies from the corporate, nonprofit, academic, donor, and government sectors participate. The initiative has a strong community outreach and mobilization program that operates in Upton/Druid Heights, Patterson Park, and other neighborhoods as well as a vital and vocal Community Advisory Board.
This year’s celebration featured a variety of services, including free health screenings and health education vendors. Families also enjoyed a performance by local drummers, raffle prizes, and a dolphin play presentation program with featured guest speakers Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, Baltimore City Interim Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller, and Family League of Baltimore President and CEO Demaune Millard.
For more information on B’more for Healthy Babies, visit healthybabiesbaltimore.com.
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