skip to content

Florida Department of Health in Escambia County Collaborates with Community Partners to Reduce Infant Mortality

By DOH-Escambia

November 17, 2014

PENSACOLA, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) and the University of West Florida (UWF) are working to reduce infant mortality in Escambia County, Florida. Attack Infant Mortality (AIM) Escambia is a collaboration of FDOH-Escambia, UWF, and other community agencies dedicated to infant health. AIM Escambia’s primary objective is to reduce the rate of infant mortality in Escambia County, Florida.

An infant mortality occurs when a child dies before his or her first birthday. The infant mortality rate for 2011-2013 in Escambia County, Florida was 7.6 per 1,000 live births, which was above the state average. For that same period, the infant death rate among blacks and other non-whites in Escambia County, Florida was nearly double the rate among whites.

Parental health, especially the mother’s health, affects the health of children in gestation and in infancy. AIM Escambia uses peer educators to encourage young adults to adopt lifestyle habits known to impact health in pregnancy and infancy. According to UWF Assistant Professor and AIM Escambia Program Manager, Dr. Erica Jordan, “If we truly want to save the lives of young infants, then we must begin long before they are actually conceived. Increasing healthy behaviors among young adults before they begin families will lead to healthier pregnancies and healthier infants.” FDOH-Escambia Director, Dr. John Lanza agrees: “A mother’s health before pregnancy predicts later infant health. Healthier communities include healthier mothers who, in turn, have healthier infants.”

Both men and women are encouraged to become peer educators. Interested community members can learn more about volunteering at www.aimescambia.com or by visiting AIM Escambia on Facebook or Twitter.
The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook.