Palmetto Healthy Start, SC Chapter of March of Dimes, Low Country Healthy Start and Stork’s Nest, Inc., honor “Heroes in the Field”
COLUMBIA, SC - The Palmetto Healthy Start, in collaboration with March of Dimes South Carolina Chapter, Low Country Healthy Start and Stork’s Nest will hold the six annual Heroes in the Field event on Thursday, September 27 at the Seawell’s Banquet and Reception Center – 1125 Rosewood Drive. The event will began with a symposium at 8:30am and the morning will consist of speakers from various maternal and child health professions. More than 100 health educators are expected to be in attendance at this year’s event.
During the lunch event, honorees Tony Keck, Carolyn Nance, Debra Nelson, Richard Richardson MD, and David Marsh MD will receive an award to recognize their significant contributions to reduce the incidence of infant mortality in South Carolina. Darci Strickland will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies and Ms. Carol Blocker, Executive Director and founder of Melanie’s Battle, a non-profit organization that is awaking the world to the devastating effects of Postpartum Psychosis will serve as the guest speaker. She is a retired teacher, mother, grandmother, and now an advocate to an illness that just several years ago was foreign to her until she lost her beloved daughter Melanie Blocker- Stokes to this devastating illness. Ms. Blocker resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Infant mortality is a significant indicator of health. In 2010, South Carolina’s infant mortality rate was 7.4 per 1,000 live births. This is significant considering more than 430 babies did not live to see their first birthday. With a national rate of 6.75, South Carolina ranks 43rd for highest rate of infant mortality. Much more work needs to be done to save our babies!
Palmetto Healthy Start Heroes in the Field event was an idea launched in 2006 by Palmetto Healthy Start. Each year, the National Healthy Start Association kicks-off a national campaign to focus on infant mortality awareness. Healthy Start organizations across the country are encouraged to participate. As a result of this national effort, Palmetto Healthy Start created the Heroes in the Field Awards Luncheon to recognize individuals in our local area for their contribution in decreasing the rate of infant mortality in our state.
Palmetto Healthy Start is a member of the National Healthy Start initiative and is operated through a federally funded grant received by Palmetto Health. Its mission is to reduce infant mortality and the number of low birth-weight babies, as well as other health disparities, in Richland, Fairfield, Lexington and Sumter counties through education and outreach.
Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these program services, the March of Dimes continues working to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate healthcare providers and women about having healthy babies.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com/southcarolina. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.