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Metro Newsroom

Healthy Start to Hold Rally for Healthy Babies

Friday September 20, 2013

The Healthy Start initiative of the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness will hold a rally for healthy babies on Thursday, September 26 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Peter Christian United Church at 1225 W. Jefferson St.

The purpose of the rally is to educate area families about the increased risk of their children dying before reaching age one and what families can do to prevent this. Rally speakers will include Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.

“We know that African American babies have the highest rates of infant mortality of any group in the United States and we know that infant mortality rates in west Louisville neighborhoods are more than double the rates of Louisville overall,” said Dr. Nesbitt. “However, we also know that the infant mortality rate among babies enrolled in the Louisville Healthy Start initiative is approximately the same as that of the overall Louisville population. Healthy Start is making a real difference in the lives of children and their families.”

The rally will include free children’s activities, food, displays and educational materials by the Charlie’s Kids Foundation. The entire community is welcome.

Healthy Start seeks to reduce infant mortality (the rate at which children die before their first birthday) in targeted west Louisville neighborhoods.

Healthy Start contacts pregnant women through home visits and other outreach methods to make sure that women begin prenatal care during the first three months of pregnancy and that consistent care continues throughout pregnancy. The initiative reduces the number of low-birth weight babies and infant mortality. Healthy Start continues to work with families after the birth of the baby through such programs as parenting classes and health clinics.