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Healthcare Georgia Foundation Announces Launch of its Infant Mortality Initiative


Contact: Toni Almasy
Avatar Communications, Inc.

Healthcare Georgia Foundation Announces Launch of its Infant Mortality Initiative
Taking Care of You represents recently launched initiative utilizing evidence-based approaches to reducing adverse birth outcomes

January 6, 2014, Atlanta, GA - Healthcare Georgia Foundation today announced the launch of its new infant mortality program initiative – Taking Care of You. The initiative is consistent with the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable quality healthcare services for underserved individuals and communities. Taking Care of You further reflects the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to achieving health equity through targeted community interventions.

Building on a previous investment, this initiative will provide multi-year community-level funding, technical support and evaluation assistance for the purpose of achieving measureable reductions in adverse birth outcomes among high disparity populations, including but not limited to: low-birth weight, prematurity, and SUID/SIDS.

According to Dr. Gary Nelson, Foundation president, “High infant mortality and persistent racial disparities in birth outcomes have been highlighted for decades.” Significant improvements have come about via advancing medical science, effective policies, technology and public health. However, Georgia consistently ranks much lower than the national average.

In 2006, Georgia ranked as the 8th worst state with an infant mortality rate (IMR) of 8.1 deaths per 1,000 live births; the U.S. national average IMR was 6.7. After reaching an all-time low IMR of 5.3 in 1999, Georgia’s infant mortality rate (IMR) increased to 7.3 per 1,000 live births in 2008 and has remained 15-20% higher than the national average. At any given time, African American infants are two times more likely to die than White infants. In 2008 in Georgia, African Americans had an average IMR of 13.8 vs. White IMR of 7.3 per 1,000 live births.

Recipients of the awards (three-year grant awards, each totaling $450,000) include:

  • Clayton County Board of Health: Every Woman, Every Time Program
  • Lowndes County Board of Health: Baby Luv (Lowndes Unique Victories) Program
  • Southwest Public Health District: Centering Pregnancy Model of Care

In addition, the following grant awards were awarded as part of the Taking Care of You initiative:

  • Emory University School of Medicine: three-year award to conduct a cross-site evaluation of the Taking Care of You initiative
  • Porter Novelli: three-year support for a social marketing and outreach and education campaign — Taking Care of You