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For Release: September 26, 2012 - Pamela Williams, Office of Communications - 405/271-5601

Preparing for Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility
Initiative to Reduce Infant Mortality Wins Local and National Awards

The Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility initiative was recognized this month by the Oklahoma Turning Point Council and the national Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) for outstanding efforts to reduce Oklahoma’s infant mortality rate and to improve birth outcomes.

The Oklahoma Turning Point Council presented the State Community Partner CHAMPION Award to the Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility initiative at its September Annual Turning Point Conference and Policy Day. The initiative was recognized for efforts to reduce the state’s infant mortality rate by focusing on improving health in risk areas that contribute to infant death such as poor maternal health, premature births, postpartum depression, tobacco use, low breastfeeding rates, infant unsafe sleep practices and infant injuries. 

ASTHO presented the ASTHO Vision Award at its September meeting to the Every Week Counts Collaborative, which is a part of the Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility initiative. The initiative’s partners were awarded second place in programs with budgets less than $250,000 for the Every Week Counts Collaborative, an effort focused on eliminating non-medically indicated scheduled c-sections and inductions at less than 39 weeks. The collaborative is funded by the March of Dimes and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.  When comparing first quarter 2011 data to second quarter 2012 data, the hospitals participating in the Every Week Counts Collaborative achieved a 65 percent decrease in early, elective deliveries. Applications are judged on innovation, program effectiveness, and the potential for replication in other states.

To learn more about what steps you can take to help ensure the health and safety of Oklahoma’s babies, visit the Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility web pages at http://iio.health.ok.gov.

Partners in the Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility statewide initiative include the following: Community Health Centers, Inc./Central Oklahoma Healthy Start; Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa; Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates; Indian Health Services; March of Dimes; Oklahoma Child Death Review Board; Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board; Oklahoma City-County Health Department; Oklahoma Department of Human Services; Oklahoma Department of  Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Oklahoma Family Network; Oklahoma Health Care Authority; Oklahoma State Department of Health; Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust; Safe Kids Oklahoma; Smart Start Oklahoma; The Parent Child Center of Tulsa; The State Chamber; Tulsa Health Department/Tulsa Healthy Start; Turning Point Coalitions; University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education; University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center/Department of OB/GYN and Pediatrics; and the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. 

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