More than 250 babies were born stillborn or died before their first birthday in Northeast Florida in 2017, but only 28 of those deaths were reviewed by the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition’s Fetal and Infant Mortality Review. Leaders in health care and community advocacy have decided that each death will be reviewed to explore ways infant mortality can be prevented.
Each of these moms – and their babies who did not make it – have a story to be told.
Baptist Health/Wolfson Children’s Hospital, UF Health Jacksonville and Florida Blue announced at the annual FIMR Community Meeting on October 18th that they are combining to contribute $50,000 to fund the study of every 2017 infant death.
During the meeting, Coalition Director of Family Relations Tracy Claveau discussed the FIMR report results, demonstrating where the system had failed these mothers who lost their child, and what could have been done differently in the mother’s favor.
Representatives from each organization attended the meeting and spoke on their commitment to addressing the issue of infant death and preventable poor health outcomes:
- Melanie Patz, vice president of community investment at Baptist Health
- Darnell Smith, Florida Blue North Florida market president
- Mark Hudak, MD, pediatrics department chairman, professor and chief of neonatology for UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville
Meeting closing speaker and founder of 4Generations Institute Jack Levine, spoke on how worthwhile an investment in prevention is. It is important to leave a legacy for the babies in our community.
The Coalition began to do reviews of fetal and infant death cases in 1995. This new funding will fully allow the Coalition to identify gaps in maternal and infant services and to promote future improvements.