JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (WIBW) -- New funding is helping Geary County health officials establish a program to help study, reduce and prevent infant deaths.
At a press conference at Geary Community Hospital Friday, January 11, 2013, it was announced that the Geary County Health Department is receiving a five-year, $262,150 grant.
The money will be used to establish a Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) program.
Funding is provided by the Kansas Health Foundation and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund and administered by Kansas Action for Children.
The FIMR program will be used for improving the services and community resources that support and promote the health and well-being of women, infants and families.
Information developed from reviews will be used to guide program and policy development and maintain services and resources to reduce infant mortality in the community.
The infant mortality rate in Geary County in 2010 was 8.56 as compared to the state's rate at 6.26 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate for African-American babies is two times that of white non-Hispanic babies.
The FIMR process includes an interview with the infant's family about the social factors that might have played a role in the infant's death, such as quality of home life, prenatal care and nutrition. A coordinate will then connect mothers to resources in their communities for support and recovery. Medical professionals review the social and medical findings and pass along recommendations to high-level community officials who will develop and implement policy changes that could reduce the number of infant deaths.
The Geary County FIMR program is a collaborative with the Geary County Perinatal Coalition's initiative, Delivering Change: Health Mom-Healthy Babies. The community collaborative represents more than 75 varied stakeholders representing 16 agencies including the Geary County Health Department, Geary Community Hospital, Geary Community Healthcare Foundation and Irwin Army Community Hospital. The joint effort is designed to bring positive change to the future of better birth outcomes for mothers in the area.
The Geary County FIMR program launched Jan. 1.