Guest Post: Baker County Infant Mortality Task Force

Sue Combs is the Healthy Start coordinator for the Florida Department of Health Baker County. The task force looks at maternal/infant health issues specific to Baker County. 

The Baker County Infant Mortality Task Force meets the second Tuesday of every month at 1:15 p.m. at the Baker County Health Department.  At present, this task force consist of community members from Healthy Start, Healthy Families, Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, Hubbshutterstock_68501338ard House, First Coast Women’s Services, Baker Prevention Coalition, AmeriCorps, WIC, and Responsible Fatherhood.

The purpose of this meeting is to look at maternal/infant health issues specific to this rural community.  Some of the issues that were identified through the Florida Healthy Baby Initiative were lack of male influence in the home, preterm deliveries, tobacco use during pregnancy, late entry prenatal and incomplete prenatal care.

At present, the task force is revising the current action plan to address the topics of interest in the community as related to infant mortality.  This revision includes looking at the role community partners can play in outreach and education in the community. The first item on our revision agenda is “father/mother involvement”.  Stephanie Bechtel, Healthy Start care coordinator will lead this committee and will collaborate with Khalil Talib of the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative to initiate community engagement through a baby shower for dad’s.  The task force will focus on child safety at the next meeting which will be held on October 10, 2016.