The B’more for Healthy Babies campaign, an initiative of the Family League and the Baltimore City Health Department in partnership with JHU∙CCP, has been awarded $1 million by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to sustain the successful infant mortality reduction program.
Since the program began in 2010, Baltimore’s infant mortality rate has fallen by 19 percent and the African American infant mortality rate has fallen by 21 percent. Unsafe sleep-related deaths dropped 40 percent compared to the previous year. Preliminary 2011 data indicates a sustained downward trend in infant deaths due to unsafe sleep environments.
These successes are in part attributable to the innovative citywide SLEEP SAFE media efforts spearheaded by CCP, which include radio and television ads, outdoor media including billboards and print materials. The cornerstone of the campaign is a video of three Baltimore mothers whose babies died in unsafe sleep environments. The video is shown at all birthing hospitals across Baltimore City, accompanied by safe sleep educational materials provided at discharge from labor and delivery. The video is also routinely shown in Baltimore City at jury duty, social services centers, the men’s Central Booking waiting area, WIC sites, community centers and health clinics, and CCP has received numerous requests for the video from organizations and health centers in Maryland and across the US.
The new funding will be used to oversee programs in Upton Druid Heights and Patterson Park North and East, communities with historically high rates of infant mortality. It will also support expanded service provider outreach, policy and systems change, and a citywide communication campaign.
This grant builds on CareFirst’s initial grant of $3 million and will help fund B’more for Health Babies through 2013. The Health Department and Family League of Baltimore have leveraged CareFirst’s support to raise $3.3 million in additional grant funding for the initiative.
Read the Baltimore City press release.
Learn more about B’more for Healthy Babies.