Palm Beach County Commissioner, Melissa McKinlay, acknowledged the Florida Institute for Health Innovation’s Fetal Infant Mortality Review team for their work leading up to Infant Mortality Awareness Month during the County Commissioners’ September 10th meeting. The team received a “Palm Beach County Proclamation,” which recognized the intent of the month and served to bring more awareness to the issue of infant mortality as well as maternal health.

Infant mortality is defined as the death of a baby before his or her first birthday. It is often used as a measure of a community’s overall health, reflecting environmental conditions, individual and family health, health care received, and social/living conditions. Racial disparities still persist for children in their first year of life in Palm Beach County, with higher mortality rates for black non-Hispanics, Hispanics, and Haitians compared to the rate for white non-Hispanics.

The Florida Institute for Health Innovation (FIHI) is collaborating throughout the month of September, in conjunction with Infant Mortality Awareness Month, to continue its efforts to raise awareness of the high infant mortality rate in the United States, Florida, and Palm Beach County while helping empower women to prepare for healthy pregnancies that result in healthy babies. Factors that can contribute to negative pregnancy and birth outcomes, which can lead to high infant mortality rates include poverty, toxic stress, racism, lack of access to healthy foods, healthy environments, and limited access to health care.

As September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, the Florida Institute for Health Innovation (FIHI) encourages everyone to get involved to continue to help reduce the number of preventable infant deaths.

The full video of the most recent Board of County Commissioners meeting can be viewed here (FIHI proclamation begins at the 33:30 mark of the video).

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