United Way partnership targets infant mortality

United Way of Greater Milwaukee joined with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to announce a new partnership to help combat the city’s infant mortality crisis.
Using a partnership to prevent teen pregnancy, launched in 2008, as a model, United Way and the City of Milwaukee will build a community-wide coalition with stakeholders from across the public, private and non-profit sectors.
To kick off the partnership, United Way announced an initial grant of $200,000 to the City of Milwaukee to improve birth outcomes in a targeted geographic area with the worst birth outcomes in the city: 53206, 53210 and 53216.
Evidence-based activities funded through the grant will include direct family services, as well as advocacy efforts and education.
Milwaukee has the seventh-worst infant mortality rate among the 53 largest cities in the nation.
“Our city is plagued by high rates of infant mortality and other poor birth outcomes, especially in minority populations,” Barrett said. “It is unacceptable to me and it should be to everyone. We’ve made so much progress on teen pregnancy prevention together with United Way. I’m excited about our partnership to bring that kind progress to improving birth outcomes in Milwaukee. With this grant, we can hit the ground running and continue to do what we know will work.”
“Infant mortality is a critical indicator of the overall health of a community. Babies are dying in Milwaukee and we have the ability to fund efforts to save lives now,” said Mary Lou Young, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Milwaukee. “Today we will begin funding efforts led by the City of Milwaukee and continue our long-term efforts to reduce infant deaths through additional program funding and raising awareness about the issue.”
Aurora Health Care has committed to being an early supporter of the project.


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