More than 20 new moms to be showered with support

black infant mortality
Managed care company and infant and maternal health foundation joining forces for community baby shower.

A nonprofit focused on stopping maternal and infant mortality, particularly among African Americans, has joined forces with the charitable arm of a national health care company to shower more than 20 new mothers with newborn essentials.

The MolinaCares Accord, a community investment initiative arising from Molina Healthcare of Florida’s charitable endeavors, and Mace Anthony Williamson Foundation, a St. Petersburg nonprofit focused on Black infant and maternal mortality, are co-sponsoring this baby shower in St. Petersburg.

The new mothers will be receiving diapers, wipes, baby bottles and other newborn essentials from 3 to 6 p.m., Sunday at Academy Prep for Education, according to a news release.

The need they will be answering can be seen in the state’s statistics for maternal and child mortality rates.

Black infant deaths, throughout the nation and Florida, have trended at higher rates when measuring deaths per 1,000 births. Since 2012, the state’s statistics show that Black infants die during their first year of life at a rate that’s always more than double and sometimes close to triple the rate of White infant deaths.

In Pinellas County, the health disparity is particularly pronounced: In 2021, 3.9 White Pinellas County infants died during their first year of life for every 1,000 born. Meanwhile, there were 15.9 Black babies who died in the county for every 1,000 that were born that same year, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set (CHARTS).

The mothers who will be showered with community support came through the Mace Anthony Williamson Foundation, signing up for the shower between October and January.

“This is our way of bringing more families into our Doula Project Resource,” said Maiye Waller, president of the foundation.

The Doula Project Resource Project at the foundation offers new mothers and expectant mothers expert guidance on supporting new lives, focusing on those who may have experienced loss already. Statistics show that doula support results in 25% shorter labor, half the number of Cesarean sections and fewer requests for epidurals, according to the foundation’s brochure. 

Speakers at Sunday’s event will include Ynissa Colón, who lost her baby at 17 weeks’ gestation and turned her pain into successful entrepreneurial efforts; and Tanisha Scantling, who registered the first Black woman-owned shoe business in St. Petersburg.

Molina Healthcare of Florida serves members through Medicaid, Medicare and health insurance marketplace members throughout Florida. Nationally, its parent, Molina Healthcare Inc serves about 5.3 million people, according to a news release.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].

One comment

  • cassandra

    February 19, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    How will the ‘MolinaCares Accord’ help the Dorberts and other families who are being denied abortions?

    “A pregnant Florida woman has been denied an abortion, despite having been told by medical experts her baby will survive “only 20 minutes to a couple of hours,” the Washington Post reported.

    Her baby has a deadly diagnosis….The Dorberts say their Florida doctors told them that because of the new legislation, they could not terminate the pregnancy.”—RawStory /Washington Post

    Abortion ban exceptions are meaningless; Doctors are afraid of prosecution. DeSantis’ abortion ban has nothing to do with “life”. It is intentional cruelty.

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