Baltimore Healthy baby campaign to continue with $1 million grant

A Baltimore campaign to reduce the city's high rate of infant mortality got a $1 million boost Wednesday that will enable it to continue its efforts.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield awarded the renewal grant to sustain the B'more for Healthy Babies campaign.

 The grant builds on CareFirst’s initial $3 million grant, extending the program through 2013. The money was approved during Wednesday's Board of Estimates meeting.

B’more for Healthy Babies, launched in 2009, seeks to prevent infant deaths through policy changes, by educating providers, and through community outreach and mobilization. The mission of the program is for Baltimore babies to be born full-term at a healthy weight.

When the program was launched Baltimore had the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the country. That rate fell by 19 percent in 2010. The African American infant mortality rate fell by 21 percent, while the white rate remained flat.

The new funding will be used primarily in two communities: Upton Druid Heights and Patterson Park North & East, which both have historically high rates of infant mortality.

The Health Department and Family League of Baltimore have leveraged CareFirst’s support to raise $3.3 million in additional grant funding for the B’more for Healthy Babies initiative.

For more information on the B’more for Healthy Babies campaign, visit www.HealthyBabiesBaltimore.com.

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