Photo from Prenatal & Infant Care Network Advisory Board Member Women's Care Center
- October 2020 Newsletter -

October is SIDS Awareness Month
and it is time to take action!
(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

The ABC's of sleep are: Alone-Back-Crib
According to the CDC, there are about 3,500 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) in the United States each year. These deaths occur among infants less than 1 year old and have no immediately obvious cause.

The three commonly reported types of SUID include the following:
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Unknown cause.
  • Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.

In 2018, there were about 1,300 deaths due to SIDS, nearly 1,300 deaths due to unknown causes, and about 800 deaths due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. The Indiana SUID rate is 102.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. Twenty-four percent of these deaths were due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed, or unsafe sleep. These deaths are preventable, and the time to act is now. The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, through its Prenatal & Infant Care Network, is partnering with community resources to develop a community-wide Safe Sleep curriculum. The Sleep Safely program will certify Safe Sleep Ambassadors who will facilitate and educate new mothers, families, daycare providers, and the community on the ABC's of safe sleep. Participants who complete education will be connected with valuable community resources so that a family has everything they need to celebrate their child’s first birthday! If you are interested in joining this collaboration, please contact Laura Dwire.

For additional resources and information, check out:
Prenatal & Infant Care Network Resource
2021 PIC Directories are now available to order! The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation provides these free directories to connect users with over 80 high quality, free and low cost, prenatal and infant health resources in Allen County, Indiana.
Prenatal & Infant Care Network Event
Dr. Emily Scott addresses interconception health
at the November 19 Prenatal & Infant Care Network webinar
The next PIC webinar, November 19, at 11:30 AM, will focus on preconception and interconception health. According to the US Department of Health Resources and Services Administration's Secretary Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM) Report, "if preconception and interconception health and care is improved, the United States will achieve better infant and child health outcomes".

The PIC webinar features two area expert speakers on maternal health and wellness. Preconception care includes family planning, spacing, immunizations, folic acid, substance use management, screening, and treatment for STIs and behavioral and mental health. Interconception health is care delivery consistent with reproductive history.
The first speaker, Chelsea Harris CHW, CLS from Healthier Moms and Babies, will introduce members to the Own Your Journey program for young women of childbearing age. The curriculum covers subjects such as living a healthy life, making positive choices, and having healthy relationships before, during, and after pregnancy. Chelsea will share successful models and stories.

For more information, read about Chelsea at:
The second esteemed speaker is Dr. Emily Scott, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Scott will discuss the importance of providing interconception health care and how any health care provider can screen women to improve future birth outcomes. She will give details of March of Dimes' IMPLICIT (Interventions to Minimize Preterm and Low birth weight Infants using Continuous Improvement Techniques) Model, in addition to modifications made to implement interconception care screening in different pediatric settings. All professionals in the healthcare continuum can use this vital Toolkit.
Imagine if the community reduced fetal and infant mortality, improved birth weights, reduced preterm births, congenital disabilities, and managed the mother's health, how many infants would celebrate their 1st birthday!
Prenatal & Infant Data Review
By: Meg Distler, Executive Director, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation.
Addressing Unconscious Bias Can Save Lives
of Black and Hispanic Infants and their Moms
In 2018, Black infants in northeast Indiana were 2.2 times more likely to die before their 1st birthday. Black mothers had the highest rate of pregnancy-related mortality at 37.0 deaths per 100,000 live births in Indiana for 2012-2016, compared to the national rate of 16.9, according to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). Dr. Nancy Swigonski, MD, MPH, MBA, FAAP (I.U. School of Medicine), commented at a Prenatal & Infant Care Luncheon in February that Indiana is in crisis. “By the time you wake up tomorrow morning, on average, another baby in Indiana has died. In Allen County, 38 babies died in 2017, which is one baby every nine days, or three babies per month.” If you look at birth outcomes by race, the crisis is more evident...
Prenatal & Infant Care Network Announcements
Promising trend:
Indiana's record-low infant mortality rate impetus for a continued focus
As announced by Governor Holcomb, Indiana's infant mortality rate fell again this year for a third consecutive year to its lowest level of 6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births. Fewer Hoosier infants are dying due to the hard work of many organizations across the state. Although there is much to celebrate, there is more work to be done. The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and the PIC Network will continue to support programs and services that serve Allen County's pregnant mothers and infants. To read more about a statewide program, "My Healthy Baby," established to connect women with resources and referrals, click here.
Datapalooza 2.0 virtual event is November 13th
Mom & Baby Datapalooza 2.0 will be a virtual event this year on November 13. Datapalooza is a competition that unlocks the power of data to improve health outcomes for Indiana's mothers and infants. Datapalooza responds to Governor Holcomb's ambitious goal of significantly reducing the state's infant mortality rate and achieving the lowest rate among Midwestern states by 2024. This data challenge convenes students, researchers, policymakers, health care professionals, and entrepreneurs from across the state. The teams are tasked with providing solutions to complex mental health issues, state policy, and health disparities. For more information, visit:

Send Your News to Us!
Starting a new program or event? Send your information to,, or to have your announcement added to the next Prenatal & Infant Care Network newsletter.

Steering Committee
 A ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.