“Rebuilding our community, one voice at a time”
By Desiree L. Williams
It is a fact, and remains a fact that our babies are dying. Our babies of color – all shades and hues of brown and tan die at a higher rate than any other race or ethnic group. It is a fact; senseless acts of violence and preventable health concerns are taking away our youth, adults and elderly. It is also a fact that you can help make a positive difference with the alarming numbers. This is our community, now it is the time to use your voice to make a change.
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County was awarded the Closing The Gap grant through the Florida State Department of Health. Closing The Gap will focus on a Community Voice Project, which is a health empowerment project to improve the knowledge and behavior of minority women and men concerning health issues impacting Maternal/Infant mortality.
Michelle Reese, Executive Director at Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies says, “As an organization who is dedicated to saving lives, HMHB Broward is proud to be able to bring this important community based initiative to Broward County. It is through the power of mothers, fathers, family members; our community voice, that each one of us can change these disparities to ensure that every baby, regardless of color, is born healthy.”
The mission of Community Voice is to take it to the people – “It” being knowledge, facts and information on Maternal/Infant mortality and morbidity, including HIV and Oral Health. This community-based project will strive to strengthen the minority community’s voice by teaching neighbors, friends and family about awareness and how to prevent the targeted health disparities.
“Our communities will be empowered through its members gaining knowledge and then their willingness to use their voice to impact change,” said Sharetta Remikie, Closing the GAP Program Manager.
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies is looking for members of the community to train as volunteer Lay Health Advisors. These Lay Health Advisors will then train others in their respective communities. The Community Voice motto is, “Rebuilding our Community, one VOICE at a time.”
All community members are welcomed to take part in this initiative. As a Lay Health Advisor you will gain on the job training. This opportunity is also a way to get volunteer hours or experience for your resume. A small stipend is provided upon successful completion of program. If you are really ready to be that change and make a difference in your community, please attend one of our scheduled Town Hall meetings and/or contact CTG Program Assistant Natasha McFarquhar at NMcFarquhar@hmhbbroward.org .
Town Hall dates
Thursday, August 22nd: 6 – 8 p.m. (MLK Center – 2400 Charleston Street Hollywood, Fla 33020)
Friday, August 23rd: Noon – 2 p.m. (African American Research library, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd Fort Lauderdale, Fla 33311)
Monday, August 26th 6 – 8 p.m. (New First Church, 432 SW 5th Ct, Deerfield Beach, Fla 33441)