Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Pam Darnall, president/CEO of Family & Children’s Place, open the news conference.
Family & Children’s Place was delighted this morning to host the Healthy Babies Louisville Celebrate Day 366 press conference, featuring Mayor Greg Fischer.
The event is part of Infant Mortality Awareness Month, recognized each September, a time to shine a public and persuasive spotlight on the issue – according to the Centers for Disease Control, close to 25,000 infants die each year before their first birthday – and to urge people to take some kind of action to reduce infant mortality.
This year’s campaign, Celebrate Day 366 … Every Baby Deserves a Chance, is about taking deliberate steps to give every child the chance for life beyond their first birthday. This is significant for us at Family & Children’s Place, because helping families raise healthy babies is a big part of what we are about.
As the leading agency in Louisville working with children and families impacted by abuse, there is no more important job any of us have than to help prevent abuse, and only by making every effort to prevent and stop abuse can we truly raise Healthy Babies.
Here at Family & Children’s Place, we contribute through our HANDS program, where Family Support Workers visit new parents in their home to provide tools, training and resources that contribute to a happy, healthy childhood. Everything from toys that teach and build skills, counseling to help parents deal with the stress of a new baby, and resources to ensure a safe sleep and living environment.
We’re thrilled to have partners in our effort, too, including the UPS Foundation, which recently provided a $5,000 grant to help provide safe sleep kits to families lacking a safe sleep space for their infants and with limited means to provide them on their own. This alone goes a long way toward protecting babies.
- Counsel all moms and dads on safe sleep behaviors, to ask if the infant has a safe sleeping environment and refer to resources as necessary during service delivery.
- Provide families a resource packet upon intake that includes safe sleep information, which is reviewed with families.
- Cover safe sleep practices at home visits during prenatal curriculum on “Bringing Baby Home.”
- Provided each family a copy of “Sleep Baby Safe and Snug” book and sign a pledge to follow safe sleep practices.
- Within first two visits after baby is born, cover the basic care curriculum module which includes safe sleep information and practices.
- At home visits, have each family complete a Childproofing Checklist twice (eight months prenatal and when child is eight months old) which includes examination of safe sleep practices.
- Assess safe sleep practices with families during the 0-5 months’ quarterly home visits and provide additional safe sleep information in the 0-5 months’ resource packet.
- Continue to assess all moms, dads, and babies health insurance status and refer to resources as necessary
- Provide a Medicaid reminder card to all families upon intake and at child’s birth.
- Notify families when we become aware that their Medicaid status has changed.
- Remind families (and assist when needed) to notify Medicaid when changes occur that impact Medicaid.
- Continue to assess medical home status of all clients each time a Family Status report is due, and refer to resources as necessary and maintain a Health Progress Report on all infants.
- Continue to assess smoking status of all moms and dads during referral screen/assessment and refer to cessation resources as necessary.
- Provide families a resource packet upon intake that includes smoking risks, second-hand smoke risks and cessation resources, which is reviewed with families.
- Assess infant exposure to smoke and second-hand smoke at 0-5 months and 6-12 months quarterly visits and provide resource packets include information on risk and smoking cessation resources.
- Discuss risk of second- and third-hand smoke.
- Assess evidence of smoking occurring in the home and provide follow up information as appropriate.
Overall, we are a part of the collective impact delivered by 13 agencies that have committed to help reduce the infant injury and mortality rate in Metro Louisville. And ours is but one of several strategies providing improvement and impact across all natal stages for moms, dads, and babies.
Like us, some organizations are enhancing already existing practices while others are adding practices to their service delivery and we are excited to see the results of these changes in 2017 as we continue to track progress throughout this year.
Other speakers at Tuesday’s event included Pam Darnall, president and CEO of Family & Children’s Place; Dr. Sarah Moyer, medical director, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness; Erika Janes, Safe Kids Louisville; and Shelton McElroy, a parent who shared his personal experiences with sleeping practices for his baby.
Healthy Babies Louisville’s goal is to ensure that all babies born in Metro Louisville see their first birthday and beyond. We at Family & Children’s Place are proud to be a part of this very important initiative for our community and for its children and families. For more info about Healthy Babies Louisville, visit: http://bit.ly/2cDoLCg
Dr. Sarah Moyer