From 1995 - 1997, The Healthier Beginnings Fetal Infant Mortality Study was conducted in Allen County, and found that babies in this community were dying due to preventable contributing factors, including:
1. Barriers to prenatal care
2. Unrecognized signs of preterm labor and warning signs in pregnancy
3. Lack of familiarity with SIDS prevention measures
4. Not knowing about eligibility for Medicaid and resources for sliding fee prenatal care
In 1996, St. Joseph Medical Center received a grant from the Indiana State Department of Health for a demonstration project to address these causes of infant mortality. And, this was the beginning of Healthier Moms and Babies.
In August 1997, Healthier Moms and Babies was transferred to the Fort Wayne Medical Education Program, part of the Fort Wayne Medical Society Foundation, which is where it remains today.
At their Annual Prematurity Summit, the March of Dimes recognized Healthier Moms and Babies’ outstanding efforts to save babies.
Healthier Moms and Babies outgrew its original space and moved into an office at St. Joseph Hospital. This year, we also added two full time benefited staff.
The St. Joe Community Health Foundation started providing HIPAA-compliant Skyping software to provide Burmese interpretation on home visits.
Thanks to a grant from the Indiana State Department of Health, Healthier Moms and Babies was awarded funding to implement Nurse-Family Partnership in Allen County and expand its staff by nine.