Baltimore City Health Department Celebrates Eight Years of Healthy Babies
Friday Oct 27th, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (October 25, 2017)– Health officials and families from across Baltimore City will join in an evening of celebrating eight years of success in reducing infant mortality rates. More than 1,500 families are expected to attend an 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. BHB was founded to ensure that all Baltimore babies are born at a healthy weight, full-term and ready to thrive in healthy families. Through the BHB’s initiative, the infant mortality rate in Baltimore City has been reduced to its lowest point in history. Since the initiative’s inception, Baltimore’s infant mortality rate has dropped by 38 percent, while the rate for African-American infants has reduced by nearly 50 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.”
BHB works to decrease the three leading causes of infant death: premature birth, low birth weight birth, and 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.
“As a new mother to a two-month old baby boy, I see firsthand how difficult it is to care for newborns, and how much we must provide the resources and services to support women and families,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “Baltimore has made great strides as a city toward our vision that all Baltimore babies are born ready to thrive in healthy families. Fewer infants are dying in Baltimore, but far too many still do not live to see their first birthday. We have more to do so that every child born in Baltimore has the best future possible.”
The initiative is led by the Baltimore City Health Department and the Family League of Baltimore and implemented with more than 100 partner agencies from the corporate, nonprofit, academic, donor, and government sectors. The initiative has a strong community outreach and mobilization program that operates in Upton/Druid Heights, Park Heights, Patterson Park, and other neighborhoods.
This year’s celebration will feature a variety of services: free health screenings, fire prevention education, a mobile Safety Center, and health education vendors. Families will also enjoy a magician, raffle prizes and a dolphin presentation with featured speaker Baltimore City Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.