Providence Hospital - Initiating Change to Save Infants' Lives

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Providence Hospital’s Center for Perinatal Advocacy hosted its first Infant Mortality Summit, Thursday, September 2, 2010.The goal of the Center for Perinatal Advocacy is to improve birth outcomes and decrease infant mortality in the District through implementation of best practices and policy. Attendees of the summit discussed ways to partner to accomplish this goal

second greatest epidemic to HIV/AIDS.

Providence Hospital’s Center for Perinatal Advocacy hosted its first Infant Mortality Summit, Thursday, September 2, 2010. The summit was the first in a series of events hosted by the Center to share information and best practices for confronting infant mortality, which program coordinator, Gabriella Garcia, calls the District of Columbia’s “second greatest epidemic to HIV/AIDS.” Several high profile guests, including Mario Drummond, CEO of Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, Marian MacDorman, PhD of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Anjali Talwalker, MD, MPH of the DC Department of Health, and Maribeth Badura, RN of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau were in attendance.

The goal of this daylong policy summit was to help District leaders build partnerships to enhance the city’s current infant mortality initiatives. Structured breakout sessions gave participants the opportunity to learn about current best practices and initiate dialogue for creating new policies and forging partnerships with government, policy, and community leaders to combat the infant mortality crisis.

The District’s infant mortality rate is among the worst in the country when compared to cities with similar demographics. In fact, according to the National Center for Health Statistics data*, the District has the worst infant mortality rate in the nation when ranked among states. Hence, the fundamental need for The Center for Perinatal Advocacy to help improve these statistics.

“With the District’s infant mortality rate increasing over the past four years to (*13.1 deaths per 1,000 live births), compared to a national average of 6.5 deaths, we are reminded of how much work needs to be done to eliminate infant death and health disparities amongst District families who live, work, and learn in the nation’s capital. We aim to bring attention to the infant mortality issue, find innovative solutions, and work diligently with those who labor to bettering health outcomes for infants and mothers in the District,” says Gabriela.

*Source: 2007 Infant Mortality Rate for the District of Columbia, the State Center for Health Statistics, Department of Health, May 13, 2009, Table 1, pg 1.

About the Center for Perinatal Advocacy at Providence Hospital - Rooted in the compassionate ministry of Jesus, the Center for Perinatal Advocacy’s mission is to provide leadership in order to strengthen families in the District of Columbia through education, advocacy, and service to safeguard the health and well being of mothers and their infants. The goal of the Center for Perinatal Advocacy is to improve birth outcomes and decrease infant mortality in the District through implementation of best practices and policy.

About Providence Hospital - For 150 years, Providence Hospital has provided landmark medical care for persons in need throughout the metropolitan area. We are the longest continuously operating hospital in the nation’s capital—yet we’re still setting new standards in innovative, state-of-the-art health and wellness services. With strengths in orthopedic care, maternal and infant health, surgery, cardiology, geriatric medicine, cancer treatment, sleep medicine, bariatric services, and stroke care, we combine sophisticated medical technology with spirituality and compassion. Providence serves with a mission of healing and a dedication to community. Providence is part of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health system, committed to Healthcare That Is Safe, Healthcare That Works, and Healthcare That Leaves No One Behind.

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