FIMR Report: Unsafe sleep growing concern for infant deaths

Oct 20, 2017  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

A growing number of sleep-related deaths has led to new recommendations from the NEFL Fetal & Infant Mortality Review to address these largely preventable deaths. FIMR also recommended educating the community on the benefits of home visiting programs as part of the October 20th Coalition community meeting, which looked at the status of maternal child health and the annual FIMR results and recommendations.

Click here for the full presentation on the FIMR results. Also released was the 2016-17 Project IMPACT report, which looks at the status of maternal and child health in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

FIMR’s Case Review Team (CRT) reviewed 28 cases in 2016-17 utilizing an approach developed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) that pulls information from birth, death, medical, hospital and autopsy records and maternal interviews. The Community Action Team (CAT) then takes the CRT’s recommendations and implements them in the community. The CAT will be expanding in 2018 to address the root causes of health disparities and social factors that impact health.

There were 30 Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUIDs) in 2016, which are due to suffocation or strangulation in bed; an unknown cause because a thorough investigation was not conducted; or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), when there is still an unknown cause after a thorough investigation.

Other areas of concern were the increase in babies born drug-exposed; late and inconsistent prenatal care; a mother’s health prior to pregnancy; and the disparities by race — black babies continue to be 2.5 times more likely to die than white babies.

SUID breakdown

Based on the infant mortality statistics and the FIMR cases, the Case Review Team developed the following recommendations:

  • The prenatal and infant Healthy Start screen is a conduit to an enormity of services that can ultimately impact birth outcomes. Anyone who interacts with a pregnant woman or infant can inform them about the screen or referral. We plan to train hospital staff, including case managers, social workers, nurses and birth recorders about the benefits of Healthy Start and other home visiting services.
  • Create a curriculum around safe sleep, water safety and selecting an appropriate caregiver for a child. These were selected in collaboration with the members of FIMR and Child Death Review as persistent issues in child death. The proposed curriculum will include a track for professionals and community agencies and a track for parents/caregivers.
  • Continue with SUIDs prevention, starting with a simple grassroots campaigns to show the number of deaths in previously healthy infants in our area.

Magnolia Project hosts inaugural community baby shower

Oct 11, 2017  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

IMG_4806More than a 100 women and their families came out to the Magnolia Project October 7 to celebrate babies at the inaugural community baby shower, sponsored by State Rep. Tracie Davis.

Attendees received information and education from vendors, including the local health department, different Coalition programs, THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and more. Lutheran Services of Florida distributed bags of food, while Magnolia OASIS provided healthy smoothie samples. Families also had the opportunity to receive clothes for their little ones and participate in raffles and giveaways.

The event was originally planned for National Infant Mortality Awareness Month as a means to celebrate and connect families. It was postponed due to Hurricane Irma.

IMG_4759Magnolia, an initiative of the Coalition and federal Healthy Start initiative since 1999, works to improve the health and well-being of women during their childbearing years by empowering communities to address medical, behavioral, and cultural and social service needs. The project includes a women’s clinic, a primary care clinic and home visiting services for women before, during and after pregnancy.

Thank you to Rep. Davis and JAXPORT for supporting the event!

2017 Baby Buggy Walk in the Park

Oct 6, 2017  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

22051279_1615838668438053_7438495396466216747_oDespite encountering some rain, families, vendors and volunteers came out for a great time, shortened walk and health fair at the fourth annual Baby Buggy Walk in the Park on September 30.

The Jacksonville Baby Buggy Walk in the Park is a family festival that calls attention to the link between healthy lifestyles, healthy families and healthy babies. The walk takes place during National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, which aims to bring awareness to improving birth outcomes and reducing health disparities.

This year the festivities took place at Klutho Park in the historic Springfield neighborhood. In addition to community members, the Fatherhood PRIDE program came out strong to bring attention to the important role that fathers play in child health and development.

22096208_1615839988437921_2500659400878648678_oThank you to our sponsors for helping us bring this event to the community and for your support of healthy babies and families: Molina HealthcareCompassMSPCSXEleven Atlantic, Robert Bridge, Sunshine HealthUnited HealthCare and Staywell!

Thank you to Regions Bank for donating a bike and Trader Joe’s for supplying water and bananas for the walkers!

Open Position: Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator

Oct 3, 2017  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition is accepting applications for a Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator.

The position works with the Director of Development to support communications and outreach strategies for the Coalition, Healthy Start and other special initiatives. Responsibilities include social media and website management; community outreach; and volunteer management. Read the full job description here.

Resumes and cover letters should be e-mailed to

Healthy Families Jacksonville holds first graduation

Oct 2, 2017  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

IMG_4660Eight kids and their parents graduated from the Healthy Families Jacksonville program on September 28, one year after the Coalition was awarded the contract for the program. The graduation took place at Healthy Families’ monthly member gathering.

Healthy Families is a nationally-accredited family support and coaching program that helps parents provide the safe and stable environments children need for healthy growth and development. The evidence-based program is voluntarily and the participants receive the services in their home by specially-trained support workers.

The Coalition received the contract to administer the Healthy Families program in October 2016 from the Jacksonville Children’s Commission, who put the program out to bid last summer because it was struggling to meet performance numbers and outcomes. Since then, program staff have improved their numbers and ensured families are receiving critical home visiting services. The program was recognized in February for enrolling 49 new families, the highest enrollment of any of the 35 Healthy Families programs in the state, and a Family Assessment Worker will be recognized this month for her high enrollment numbers.

IMG_4728Healthy Families serves families living in Duval County in targeted zip codes: 32202, 32204, 32205, 32206, 32207, 32208, 32209, 32210, 32211, 32216, 32217, 32218, 32219, 32220, 32221, 32225, 32226, 32233, 32244, 32246, 32250, 32254, 32256, 32257 and 32277. To be eligible for the Healthy Families program, participants must be pregnant or have an infant less than three months of age; live in a targeted geographic service delivery area; score 13 or above on the Healthy Start screen. Families can receive services up to age five.