Montgomery County’s African American Health Program to Host Aug. 13 ‘Right from the Start’ Event That Will Focus on Support for Black Children and Families

by Patrick Herron

In 2021, Black/African American women accounted for 43 percent of all fetal and infant losses in Montgomery County, although they represented approximately 20 percent of all births in the County—an indication of ongoing disparities in birth outcomes. Losses among Black women continue to account for one-third or more of all losses in the County.

The event is scheduled during National Breastfeeding Month and will offer information on breastfeeding and include activities for children, refreshments and random prizes. The keynote speaker will be Lima Redhead, MD, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist.

“Every baby deserves to be born healthy,” said Jacquelyn Williams, co-chair of the African American Health Program’s (AAHP) executive committee. “While we as a County have made progress in reducing the health disparities faced by Black mothers, more work remains to be done. Our hope is that this event will raise greater awareness and advocacy within our communities, so that we can continue to positively impact the health of our families.”

Attendees at the event will learn about:

  • Healthy habits in the years before pregnancy.
  • Racial disparities, healthy pregnancy and how to advocate for oneself, self-advocacy.
  • Speaking up for yourself with healthcare professionals and educators.
  • Taking care of yourself and your children from infancy through kindergarten/first grade.
  • Developmental milestones in early childhood.
  • Mental health for the Black Community.

Right from the Start is co-sponsored by the AAHP, Early Child Services and Babies Born Healthy that are programs and initiatives of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  The event is also supported  by DHHS’ Improved Pregnancy Outcomes Program.

The Babies Born Healthy Program works to decrease disparities and reduce infant mortality in babies born to African American women. The AAHP works to eliminate health disparities and improve the number and quality of years of life for African Americans and people of African descent in Montgomery County. The Infants and Toddlers Program assists families with children between birth and 4 years old to address their children’s development and special needs. The Improved Pregnancy Outcomes Program works to  increase healthy pregnancy outcomes for all women in the County and address related racial disparities by improving healthcare systems community resources.

Register online for the free event. Call 240-777-3118 for more information and help to register if you do not have online access.

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