The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 17, 2013

Infant mortality: Summit set Tuesday at Non-Profit Center

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Garfield County’s infant mortality rate of 10.4 per 1,000 live births exceeds the statewide average of 7.85 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Even one Garfield County baby dying in its first year of life is too many, said Renee Hoover, coordinator of Smart Start Northwest Oklahoma.

Community Development Support Association and Garfield County Health Department are sponsoring a summit meeting Tuesday morning.

The hour-long summit, 7:30-8:30 a.m., will be at The Non-Profit Center, 114 S. Independence.

Maggie Jackson, health educator for Garfield County Health Department, said the Tuesday meeting will be the first phase of a larger public awareness campaign.

“We want to increase awareness regarding infant mortality, the Preparing for a Lifetime campaign and, especially, speak to the issue of safe sleeping,” Jackson said.

“We want babies to be healthy and we want them to be safe,” said Dianne Juhnke, early childhood director for CDSA.

Pat Fowler, administrative director of Garfield County Health Department, will provide welcome and introductions of speakers.

Annette Jacobie, chief of Family Support and Prevention Service for the State Department of Health, will present an overview of the subject.

Debra Anderson, executive director for Smart Start Oklahoma Home Visitation will give a presentation on strengthening families.

Tim Doyle, juvenile detective for Enid Police Department, will talk about the impact infant mortality has on the professionals responding and the families with which they interact.

A continental breakfast will be served at the event. The program will begin at 7:45 a.m.

To attend, RSVP to marymj@health.ok.gov or by calling (580) 233-0650, ext. 147.