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Healthy Infant Coalition Continues Work to Reduce Infant Mortality in Leon

By Gina Jordan

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-910099.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Whole Child Leon, a countywide effort to get children off to the best start in life, is out with an update on its Healthy Infant Coalition. Gina Jordan reports.

Leon County's infant mortality rate is higher than the state average. Dozens of service agencies, medical providers, advocacy groups and policymakers have joined together to craft a comprehensive approach to achieving healthy birth and infant outcomes.

"The whole purpose of the Healthy Infant Coalition is to reduce infant mortality in Leon County, especially the disparities between African American and white infants."

Bobbi Markiewicz is with The Chiles Center at the University of South Florida, which contracted to work with Leon County after researchers developed a perinatal care system.

"Our contract has ended and I'm so proud of the county because they've developed a steering committee led by Courtney of Whole Child Leon and we have four wonderful volunteers leading each component. So, I'm very hopeful that this effort will continue and go forward."

The school district has adopted some recommendations from the team for its health curriculum, including sex education and making better food choices.

The coalition still needs volunteers. If you'd like to help, contact Courtney Atkins at Courtney@uwbb.org or 850-414-8344. Whole Child Leon is on the web at www.wholechildleon.com.