Volusia and Flagler counties are trying to combat high fetal and infant mortality rates.
Dixie Morgese, executive director of The Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties said a report from 2016 found that more than eight out of every one thousand births resulted in death.
She said the three leading causes of fetal and infant death are sleeping in a person’s arms, falling into a pool or pond and physical harm or trauma.
Morgese said, that homelessness plays a factor into these mortality rates. She said, if a family is homeless and living out of their car with a young child it is not useful to give them a pack-and-play because they are not able to set it up.
According to Morgese, helping these families get into safe living conditions will impact these rates. Morgese says an important step in reducing these rates is listening to parents.
“And the other part of the process is listening to families,” said Morgese. “We are all experts in what we do, but families are experts about their own families.”
She said they will hold a listening session with families next month at the Volusia county health department.
The Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties is a non-profit organization which aims to help young children, pregnant women and families with community resources.