Infant mortality is a community problem — and it takes a community to solve it. The Coalition engages partners throughout the region to join in the effort to address the underlying societal & structural root causes of infant mortality.
To bring awareness to the issue, particularly health disparities, the “Make a Noise! Make a Difference! Prevent Infant Mortality” community education and awareness campaign was launched in 2009. An accompanying intervention provides lay health advocates with the tools to spread healthy lifestyles information throughout the community, while the “Make a Difference!” Leadership Academy trains grassroots leaders to make changes in neighborhood factors that contribute to disparities in health and birth outcomes. “Rounds at the Grounds: Baseball for Babies!” is an annual fundraiser to bring awareness to infant mortality and raise funds to continue the campaign.
The Coalition also partners with those looking to serve their community. Each year, members of the North Florida Health Corps – AmeriCorps Program serve for almost a year at the Coalition, expanding outreach initiatives. Members currently reach at-risk women who need services and address health disparities through education projects.
Certain segments of the population have worse birth outcomes and experience greater stresses. The Coalition engages the community to address these issues. Both St. Johns and Baker counties have active infant mortality task forces. Previous efforts include the Black Infant Health Community Council, which focused efforts on the health disparities African Americans in the region face, while the Northeast Florida Teen Pregnancy Task Force looked at ways to reach young mothers and prevent initial and repeat pregnancies among teens.
The 4Me Teen Health Project was implemented as part of the Teen Pregnancy Task Force’s community action plan. The evidence-based program focuses on preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy in Northeast Florida. BrdsNBz NE Florida is a complementary text message warmline that allows teens from the regions to get confidential answers to their sexual health questions.