The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Babies Born Healthy Program, the African American Health Program (AAHP), Early Childhood Services, and the Improved Pregnancy Outcomes programs will host a free community event to provide health support to Black children and families from preconception through early childhood.
The “Right from the Start” event will be from 12 p.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the White Oak Community Recreation Center, located at 1700 April Lane in Silver Spring.
The event coincides with National Breastfeeding Month (August) and will cover breastfeeding, as well as other health topics. In 2022, Black/African American births accounted for 35 percent of fetal and infant losses but only represented approximately 21 percent of all births in Montgomery County.
“Learning about and getting proper prenatal care is critical for all parents and families,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “This is a life-or-death issue. Infants who do not receive proper prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and are five times more likely to die in infancy. Our prenatal programs will help reduce disparities, improve birth outcomes, and make sure every child is taken care of right from the start of life.”
Attend the event to learn about the following:
- Preconception and prenatal health
- Community support for families
- Doula Support
- Developmental milestones
- Mental health
At the event, there will be activities for kids, prizes and giveaways, and free refreshments. In addition, the event will feature several guest speakers, as well as an opening welcome from Kisha Davis, the County health officer.
“Every baby deserves to be born healthy,” said Dr Davis. “While our community has made progress in reducing health disparities faced by Black mothers, more work remains to be done. Our hope is that this event will raise greater awareness and advocacy within our communities so that we can continue to positively impact the health of our families.”
Guest speakers include:
- Laurena White, The Eudaimonia Center
- Layo George, Wolomi
- Michelle Roberts-Borden, Adventist White Oak Medical Center
- Tiffany Mills, Milestone Mental Health Services
- Whitney Dula, Babies Born Healthy program
- Azeb Ataro Adere, Ethiopian Eritrean Special Needs Community of Montgomery County
The Babies Born Healthy program works to decrease disparities and reduce infant mortality among babies born to Black/African American women by providing care coordination services to help at-risk pregnant women connect with resources and to help them stay healthy through their pregnancies. For more information, visit the DHHS website.
The AAHP is one of DHHS’ three minority health programs and works to eliminate health disparities and improve the number and quality of years of life for Black/African Americans and people of African descent. For more information, visit the AAHP website.
Early Childhood-Child Care Support Services connects comprehensive services that support and build a successful childcare delivery system through coaching, consultation, professional development, and individualized support. For more information, visit their website.
The Improved Pregnancy Outcomes program works to increase healthy pregnancy outcomes and address related racial disparities by improving healthcare systems and community resources.
The event is free, but registration is required. Call 240-777-3118 for more information or to get help to register.