For Immediate Release
September 15, 2011
T: (305) 948-8063
(BPRW) SOUTH FLORIDA’S ELECTED LEADERS SET TO JOIN HEALTHY START COALITION OF MIAMI-DADE AT COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR THIS SATURDAY
- 11 a.m. program will commemorate National Infant Mortality Awareness Month -
A special program will begin at 11 a.m., when elected officials and community leaders will pledge commitment to supporting HSCMD’s services for local mothers and children. Confirmed attendees include:
• Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime
• City of Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson
• City of North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre
• Office of U.S. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson
• Office of Florida Senator Oscar Braynon, II
• Office of Florida Representative Cynthia Stafford
• Office of Florida Representative Barbara Watson
• Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez
• Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan
• Office of City of Miami Commissioner Wilfredo Gort
“I am beyond excited so many of South Florida’s respected leaders are supporting our effort,” said Manuel Fermin, CEO of Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade. “Florida’s troubled economy has had a disproportionate effect on minorities, driving up the number of infant deaths in those communities. By focusing on education and providing services at fairs like this, we aim to improve chances young families will stay healthy.”
While the infant mortality rate increase in Miami-Dade is slight — from 174 deaths in 2008 to 188 deaths in 2009 (most recent data available) — child experts say the data is worth worrying about. According to the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, the number of deaths among babies who were “black or other races” rose from 77 in 2008 to 94 in 2009. Numbers also rose in rates for Hispanic babies. Throughout September (National Infant Mortality Awareness Month), HSCMD will refocus on MomCare, Healthy Start and The Jasmine Project, key programs tackling the local infant mortality issue.
The Community Health & Education Fair will reinvigorate community partners’ efforts to reduce infant mortality rates among minorities in Miami-Dade County. Highlights of the event include free health screenings (cholesterol, blood pressure, pregnancy tests, BMI, etc.), parenting and family engagement classes, car seats and child seat inspections, baby supplies, pregnancy tests, bike helmets and much more to promote healthy family lifestyles.
“Recently, there have been a number of statewide cuts to mother’s and children’s health programs,” continued Fermin. “However, our efforts cannot stop. We must be even more focused to get the word out so we can impact as many mother’s lives as possible. Let’s rally as a community to save our children.”
The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade (HSCMD) is a community-based prenatal care agency for at-risk mothers and babies. As one of its top programs, MomCare is committed to improving birth outcomes and reducing infant mortality rates through guidance, education and care coordination for expecting mothers. In 2010, the Healthy Start Coalition launched the federally funded Jasmine Project to focus on reducing racial disparities in black infant mortality and health outcomes in Miami-Dade County. It complements Florida’s statewide Healthy Start program that provides universal screening to all pregnant women and infants.
WHO: HEALTHY START COALITION OF MIAMI-DADE
WHAT: THE COMMUNITY HEALTH AND EDUCATION FAIR
WHEN: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2011 ● 9:30 A.M. – 1 P.M.
PROGRAM WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS: 11 A.M.
WHERE: BETTY T. FERGUSON COMMUNITY CENTER ● 3000 N.W. 199TH STREET, MIAMI GARDENS, FL 33056 (JUST WEST OF SUN LIFE STADIUM ON 199TH STREET)
CONTACT: TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE AT THE PROGRAM OR TO ARRANGE AN INTERVIEW WITH MANUEL FERMIN, PLEASE CONTACT MATTHEW BEATTY IN THE OFFICE AT (305) 948-8063, OR VIA EMAIL AT MBEATTY@SONSHINE.COM.
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