College students trained as Preconception Peer Educators

National Infant Mortality Awareness Month

About 70 college students from the University of Florida, Chamberlain College of Nursing, Edward Waters College and other local schools were trained as Preconception Peer Educators on Thursday to provide them with information needed to impact their health and the health of the community.

The training is part of the Office of Minority Health’s “A Healthy Baby Begins With You” campaign, which began in 2007. The purpose of the program is to enlist college students as peer educators not only on college campuses but also in the community at large, to help disseminate essential preconception health messages.

Topics from the training include:

  • Health disparities and social determinants of health
  • Causes of infant mortality, infant mortality disparities and why infant mortality is a public health concern
  • Overcoming racism and its stresses: Fostering healthy babies and a healthy tomorrow in communities of color
  • Racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes: A Life Course perspective
  • Preconception health and care for women and men: components, research, and recommendations
  • Men, health and fatherhood

Participants played the Life Course Game, which was developed by City MatCH to lead participants through an interactive experience, designed to illustrate key concepts of the life course framework. They also watched a screening of the documentary “Unnatural Causes – When the Bough Breaks”.

The training was free — all it required was a commitment from the students to participate and get involved with program activities over the next year, both at their schools and in the community.