Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

700 Tennessee babies are dying each year

I came across a post yesterday from the Nashvillest that shocked me:

Tennessee now has an infant mortality rate that’s comparable to that of a third world country. [WKRN]

How can this be? How is this possible when we live in a city renonwned for it’s medical industry?

According to the WKRN story, nationally, Tennessee ranks 47th for its infant mortality rate, with more than 700 babies dying each year.

Dr. Judy Aschner, the Director of the Division of Neonatology at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, spoke to News 2. “You can’t have healthy children if you don’t have a healthy mother…address the health of women in Tennessee which is appalling,” she said.

Really troubled by this I tweeted the story and question to my friends in Nashville and Tennessee, asking the question, what can we do? Friends responded instantly with feedback about the disturbing story, but my friend Katy Kirby wrote:

@davedelaney It’s a huge issue- one of the reason’s I volunteer for @marthacenter here in Nashville.Mon Jun 28 21:12:15 via TweetDeck

I trust Katy, so I checked out the Martha O’Brien Center. I’m really impressed with what I’ve been reading about the non-profit organization. I’m going to help to fundraise and raise awareness for the center.

By helping to serve Nashville’s James A. Cayce housing, which is among the poorest neighborhoods in the city, we’ll be helping single women and children. 89% of households are headed by a single woman; 59% of the residents are children under the age of 18.

This will be a way that I can do my part in helping to support the health and education of our less fortunate. Perhaps it will even save a life.

What are you planning to do?

You can sign up for the Martha O’Brien newsletter and follow them on Twitter for more information. You can also make a donation now if you wish.


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  • Joy Haynes

    Thank you for raising awareness with your audience on this important issue, Dave! And thank you for stepping up to advocate and volunteer to make a difference. Some additional local organizations making progress in this area are: Catholic Charities' Maternal Infant Health Outreach, Nurses for Newborns of TN, United Neighborhood Health Services' Taking Charge program. United Way of Metropolitan Nashville invests dollars in these organizations, and others that are impacting women's health during pregnancy, to promote behaviors such as good nutrition, doctor's visit, and prenatal care that ensure healthy infants.

  • Combine this with the fact that over 14,000 Tennessee babies are aborted each year (not to mention those women who reside outside the state and come here for the procedure) and the numbers are really shocking. The infant mortality rate is a big problem and I'm happy to see people doing what they can to address it, but why more people don't get upset about our insanely high abortion rates I'll just never understand.

    By the way, the Martha O'Brien Center lists as a strategic partner Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee. I wonder if they refer abortion cases. That sure would be ironic, don't you think?

  • Perhaps better education and a brighter future would help to lower that abortion rate.

    Thanks Scott. I always appreciate your feedback.

  • Thanks for the information Joy. Not to mention all you do with the UW!