St. Joseph Community Health Foundation Grant Supports Early Childhood Alliance’s Work to Decrease Infant Mortality Rates

Published: 01/18/2022 @ 12:01 am

Thanks to a $26,000 grant award from the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) is able to further its work in decreasing infant mortality in Allen County.
Fort Wayne’s 46806 zip code is home to the fourth-highest infant mortality rate in the state. The city’s Black and Brown communities also have disproportionality infant mortality rates. Over the past year, Myla Rogers, ECA’s Quality Improvement Manager, has worked with the Engaging
Childcares to Impact Infant Mortality Project, which focuses on creating awareness about the importance of Safe Sleep. Myla’s work involves recruiting childcare providers as Safe Sleep Ambassadors to ensure proper sleep environments within their programs, and to spread messaging, resources, and materials with the families they serve. As a result, many childcare providers and families have created safer sleeping environments for infants in their programs and homes.
One of the Safe Sleep Ambassadors is Fatiah Nour, who owns and operates a family childcare in Fort Wayne.
“Safe cribs are important for infants because they could die during deep sleep,” says Fatiah. “I have had parents share with me that their baby shares a bed in their home, and that breaks my heart. Room sharing is okay; but not bed sharing.”
Fatiah is thrilled to be able to provide families with information and materials to parents that need safe sleeping materials. By becoming a Safe Sleep Ambassador, Fatiah has been able to receive a free crib for her program, as well as provide sleep sacks and two Pack n’ Play portable cribs to families she serves.
These materials will be available to even more childcare programs and families through the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation grant award. Safe Sleep Ambassadors, particularly in the 46806 zip code, will also receive training and support to join ECA in its work of decreasing infant
mortality. ECA is grateful to have such strong support from the Foundation and is excited to see the impact this grant will have on the community!