The Healthy Start Coalition is commemorating the 147 babies who died before their first birthday in 2018 in Northeast Florida with a special Baby Shoes Memorial at Jacksonville City Hall from September 16-30. The memorial is displayed during National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, which recognizes infant death rates as a sentinel indicator of the health of a community. Infant mortality in Northeast Florida continues to be a major health issue affecting families. The regional rate increased from 7.3 to 7.9 deaths per 1000 live births in 2018 and remains higher than the state (6 deaths) and nation (5.8 deaths).
While infant mortality has decreased by 35 percent since the Healthy Start program and Healthy Start coalitions were created in 1991, too many babies still don’t celebrate their first birthday. The Coalition focuses on saving babies, strengthening families and building communities to ensure that every baby has a chance at a healthy start in life. The memorial is available for viewing in the City Hall atrium (117 W. Duval St., Jacksonville) until September 30.
Be sure to visit the memorial this month and share your thoughts across social media.