For Immediate Release
September 20, 2010
Contact Information

Matthew Beatty
Sonshine Communications

(BPRW) University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics & Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade Launch The Jasmine Project on September 25

(BLACK PR WIRE) --September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade are joining forces to launch The Jasmine Project on Saturday, September 25, 2010, at Florida Memorial University. The only newly funded Federal Healthy Start project in the country, the Jasmine Project will focus on reducing racial disparities in black infant mortality and health outcomes among pregnant women, new mothers, infants and women of child-birthing age in Miami-Dade County.

“We are so excited to invite the entire community and our civic leaders to celebrate with us as we provide maternal-child health and education services to pregnant women, mothers, and infants living in these critical neighborhoods,” said Manuel Fermin, CEO of Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade. “Our success in what was an extremely competitive grant application process allows us to empower women in this community to protect their family and infant’s lives.”

The Jasmine Project is a community-based collaboration of organizations dedicated to the health of pregnant women and infants in Miami Gardens, Opa-locka and North Miami (zip codes 33055, 33054 and 33167). The Jasmine Project Kick Off Celebration will initiate the community partners’ effort to reduce the infant mortality disparity between blacks and whites in Miami-Dade County.

“We are committed to providing women with the most advanced health education and parenting tools available to promote the healthiest possible outcomes for themselves, their infants and their young children through age three,” says Connie Morrow, Ph.D., Program Director, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. Statistics show that in the targeted neighborhoods, from 2005-2007, the average black infant mortality rate was 12.9 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to a rate of 5.8 for white infants, and three of four babies who died before their first birthday were black. “Our goal,” continued Dr. Morrow, “is to do our part to make sure every baby celebrates their first birthday and has the healthiest possible start in life.”

Highlights of The Jasmine Project Kick Off Celebration include free health screenings (cholesterol, pregnancy tests, BMI, etc.), parenting and family engagement classes, nutritionist consultations, Afro-centric storytelling for kids and much more to promote healthy family lifestyles. Sponsor organizations, including Prestige Health Choice, Health Choice Network, CarMax, the Early Learning Coalition, Jessie Trice Community Health Center, Miami-Dade County Health Department, North Dade Health Center – Jackson Health System, and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Center will also provide give-away products such as bike helmets, diaper bags, backpacks, T-shirts, water bottles, educational materials, books, toys, and even bicycles and child seats. Light and healthy refreshments will be available throughout the day, with giveaways offered to those women who R.S.V.P. for the event.

The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami School of Medicine is nationally and internationally acclaimed for education, research, patient care and biomedical innovation. Young patients come to UM from all over the world to receive quality care delivered with compassion by outstanding pediatric specialists and other skilled medical professionals. As part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the Department of Pediatrics is integrated into a dynamic research environment where innovative and effective treatments and cures are under development.

The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade was incorporated on April 1, 2001 and serves as a prenatal and infant care coalition. The Jasmine Project funding is $750,000 annually for a five-year period, awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The project is 100% funded by HRSA and is not receiving funds from any nongovernmental sources.

For more information on The Jasmine Project Kick Off Celebration, contact Matthew Beatty of Sonshine Communications at 305-948-8063.

WHO: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade and Civic Leaders

WHAT: The Jasmine Project Kick Off Celebration

WHEN: Saturday, September 25, 2010 â - 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Media Press Conference with Civic Leaders: 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Florida Memorial University Smith Conference Center â - 15800 N.W. 42nd Avenue â - Miami Gardens, Florida (Simply enter through the main campus entrance and follow the balloons to the event’s location.)