Sens. Menendez, Booker Applaud Investment to Reduce Infant Mortality

Sens. Menendez, Booker Applaud Investment to Reduce Infant Mortality

NEWARK, NJ - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) today applauded the award of $3.3 million in federal funding for four New Jersey organizations to help reduce high infant mortality rates and other health problems related to pregnancy and mothers' health. The funds were awarded through the Department of Health and Human Services Healthy Start program.

"There is no greater tragedy for any parent than losing a child, and it is a national tragedy that so many babies in this country - especially in minority communities- are not living to celebrate their first birthdays," said Sen. Menendez. "Every child - regardless of where they're born- deserves a chance for a healthy life and we have to do all we can to expand access to the prenatal care families need."

"No parent should have to endure the unbearable tragedy of burying their child. As a state and a nation, we suffer a tremendous loss when a child doesn't survive to realize their potential and contribute to our society," said Sen. Booker. "Healthy Start programs provide a vital lifeline to support the health of New Jersey's expecting mothers and the survival of their babies."

Healthy Start programs are targeted to the needs of vulnerable mothers and infants in areas of the country with disproportionately high rates of infant mortality and high rates of low birthweight, preterm birth, maternal mortality and maternal morbidity (serious medical conditions resulting from or aggravated by pregnancy and delivery). Through the program, organizations reach out to pregnant women and new mothers and connects them with the health care and other resources they need to nurture their children.

The grant awards follow:

NEWARK COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS INC

NEWARK

NJ

$532,700

PARTNERSHIP FOR MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY, INC., THE

NEWARK

NJ

$532,933

SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY PERINATAL

PENNSAUKEN

NJ

$1,421,155

CHILDREN'S FUTURES, INC

TRENTON

NJ

$852,412

According to the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA), which supports over 100 Healthy Start projects across the United States, while infant mortality in the U.S. has been reduced recently, the disparities between whites and minorities has not lessened. NHSA reports that "Infant mortality among African American women is more than twice that of white women. Low birthweight among African American women is more than twice that of white women. For Hispanics and Native Americans, the infant mortality and low birthweight rates are significantly higher than that of the white population." They urge special attention to minority families need particularly perinatal health services.

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