The Enterprise Community Healthy Start Initiative and the Medical College of Georgia's Ryan White Outreach Team have collaborated to address infant mortality rates and HIV awareness in Burke and McDuffie counties. This collaboration was recognized nationally in the Winter 2005 issue of the National Healthy Start Association, Inc., Getting off to a Healthy Start newsletter.
"We are just very excited that it made it in the national newsletter...We had no idea they would feature it, so it was a pleasant surprise," said Naomi Williams, community outreach coordinator for ECHSI.
Statistics in the article show the infant mortality rate in these counties was 13.3 per 1000 live births for black women, compared to a rate of 7.8 for white women. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics report new HIV cases among women in the South is four times the rate found in other parts of the country.
"Even though we are looking at two different things, we have a common goal, which is to ensure families are healthy," Ms. Williams said.
The article reports a satellite office in Thomson, located in the IGA shopping center on W. Hill Street, provides nursing case management, education, screening, testing, and outreach activities. Healthy Start is open to the public, and shares referrals with other agencies such as the Health Department, Partners For Success, the Department of Family and Children Services and the Mental Health Department.
The Thomson office is open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call 597-0364 or visit www.echealthystart.org.