4047.0 Infant Mortality Disparities, a Story of Social Injustice: Peer Education Strategies for Infant Mortality Awareness and Prevention

Tuesday, November 9, 2010: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Disparities in infant mortality rates persist, with African American infants most significantly impacted. Infant mortality rates among African Americans are more than twice the rates of non-Hispanic whites. The urgency to reduce and ultimately eliminate this disparity has never been more evident as we engage in dialogue about justice, or rather the injustice of this enduring problem. Preconception health and care promotion aims to optimize an individualís health prior to conception and thus has the potential to improve birth outcomes. In line with the CDC goals and recommendations to improve preconception health and care the Preconception Peer Educators (PPE) program targets college-aged African American men and women with preconception health and care messages. This session will provide an overview of the PPE program model and successful strategies for implementation as demonstrated in the state of Tennessee. The need for a menís preconception health effort in the maternal and child health field will also be addressed and the role the peer educators have taken in engaging men and fathers to support improved birth outcomes. Furthermore, findings from the PPE program evaluation study will be addressed which can help to further understand how to most effectively communicate and promote preconception health information and behaviors amongst young African American men and women.
Session Objectives: 1. Describe the Preconception Peer Educators program model and strategies for implementation and integration into existing infant mortality and preconception health efforts as demonstrated in the state of Tennessee 2. Explain the need for improved menís preconception health practices and paternal involvement in pregnancy to improve birth outcomes in the African American community 3. Discuss the Preconception Peer Educators Program evaluation study strategy and results

Introductory Remarks
When Kymberly Lost Katina. A teen's story of infant mortality and middle school awareness and prevention activities. Kymberly Dyson, Student, Memphis Academy of Health Sciences, Memphis, TN

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Maternal and Child Health
Endorsed by: Community Health Workers, APHA-Committee on Women's Rights, Latino Caucus, Social Work

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)