Death by Zip Code NO MORE
Between 2010 and 2012, 176 babies died before their first birthdays in Monroe County. More than once a week a family grieved for a child who would never have a birthday party, never go to school, never marry and have children.
While the causes of these deaths are complex, they are not mysterious and most of these deaths are not inevitable. But to prevent them, we must better understand not just the immediate cause of death but the trajectory that led to that tragic conclusion. That trajectory is largely determined by the interaction among biology, individual behavior, and the physical and social environments experienced by the parents beginning long before the birth, even long before the pregnancy.
It is therefore not so surprising that the death rate for infants in the most challenged neighborhoods of the city is so much higher than the death rate for infants in the suburbs. This phenomenon, which has come to be labeled “Death by Zip Code” nationally, shows up in the contrast between death rates in the nine poorest city zip codes – 10.6 deaths per 1000 live births – and the rates in the zip codes outside that core – 4.9 deaths per 1000 live births.
Our 2014 activities included:
- The Onesies Campaign. Raise Onesies to Raise Awareness: During the entire month, our community decorates and/or displays onesies as a symbol of the infants who died in their first year. We provide all the materials, including information cards to hang with the onesies explaining how people can contribute to the effort.
- Infant Mortality Commemoration: Each year we hold a bittersweet celebration to acknowledge the infants who died before their first birthday, honor their families, and celebrate children who lived to day 366 and beyond with their families..
- Death by Zip Code NO MORE: How to Align Forces to Shift the Health Trajectory of a City: This full day conference featured keynote speaker Rev. Marvin McMickle and engaged participants with wide-ranging perspectives in hands-on exploration of how to align efforts across the community.
If you would like to help with the cost of this campaign, tax deductible contributions to the Perinatal Network may be made securely and quickly on line here. Thank you for helping us say NO MORE!