BLUES Project Works To Reduce Infant Mortality Rates By Hosting Community Health Fair

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

As part of its fight to reduce infant mortality rates in Tennessee, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s BLUES (Building Lasting Unshakable Expectations into Successes) Project will host a community health fair for moms-to-be and their families.

Representatives from the research and community outreach program along vendors such as Virginia College, Erlanger Health Systems, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many more will be in attendance to provide door prizes, health screenings and a day of pampering. Awareness information about infant mortality and maternal health will also be provided. The health fair will take place from 9 a.m.-noon on July 2, at the Glenwood Recreation Center located at 2610 E. 3rd Street Chattanooga, Tn. 37404.

Tennessee’s infant mortality rate of 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births is one of the worst in the nation. In 2011, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department website reported that Hamilton County had an infant mortality rate of 7.9 per 1,000 live births. 

Those rates are the result of many internal and external environmental factors.In Chattanooga, a great majority of premature babies are born to people who have not graduated from high school,” said Linda Moses, MD, FACOG, director of The Blues Project. “Premature births are a large contributor to infant mortality.”  Dr. Moses is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

The BLUES Project, which originated in Memphis, is a community outreach and research program that provides education, counseling and psychosocial support to pregnant women. Services continue until the child’s second birthday. The program is funded by the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation. 

The project aims to decrease the number of deaths of babies under age one. The mission is to help families have full-term healthy babies by assisting parents in developing their own support system and empowering mothers to establish and achieve attainable life goals. The BLUES Project has been in operation in Chattanooga since 2010.

To be eligible for the UTHSC BLUES Project, women must be fewer than 29 weeks pregnant, voluntarily sign an informed consent form, agree to provide a medical record of mother and infant to the BLUES team, attend educational sessions, and be receptive to case management. 

Participants also receive educational information regarding pregnancy and baby care, special gifts, social and community support during and after pregnancy, and links to helpful community agencies and resources.

For more information, contact Quetta Pipkin, Community Outreach coordinator of the UTHSC BLUES Project-Chattanooga site, at bluesproject@uthsc.edu or 423 778-5721.

 


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