The Black Infant Health Practice Initiative (BIHPI) is community movement that focuses on elevated rates of infant mortality in minority populations. This is an unfunded initiative that requires volunteer participation of various entities, including educational institutions, professionals, civic organizations, the local government and citizens, as a whole.
Community members are encouraged to become involved in this initiative by:
- Joining the Community Engagement Group (CEG)
- Attending planning meetings
- Participating in a focus group
- Making a donation to support our Annual BIHPI Projects
- Spreading the word
- Educating others
- Advocating for affordable health coverage for all
- Volunteering to become a spokesperson for BIHPI
In June 2007, the Black Infant Health Practice Initiative (BIHPI) bill was created when then Governor Charlie Crist appropriated $1 million dollars to determine factors that contribute to elevated rates of infant mortality in minority populations, and to develop strategies to address the disparity.
Broward Healthy Start Coalition, Inc. was one of eight Healthy Start Coalitions prioritized statewide to receive a portion of the funding for this initiative because we serve areas that have 1.7 times or greater rates of black to white infant mortality. Through the BIHPI Community Engagement Group several actions and goals were identified, and targeted efforts toward improving pregnancy and birth outcomes were employed with the intent of decreasing the disparity found in Broward County’s rates of infant mortality. Decreased rates of prematurity and increased birth weights were also expected as a result of these efforts.
The primary focus of BIHPI’s efforts is to educate and empower parents and caregivers with information to keep babies safe from the leading preventable causes of infant death in our community. The Broward Healthy Start Coalition, Inc. supports the work of the BIHPI Community Engagement Group by providing staff support to help coordinate and secure donations and outside funding for BIHPI community projects.
Shower 2 Empower
Since inception of the Black Infant Health Practice Initiative, Broward Healthy Start Coalition has continued to organize and support community programs that educate and empower new and expecting parents about caring for themselves and their infants with a focus on our key Safe Baby messaging. In 2008, our community education program Shower 2 Empower was started and has grown into an annual countywide signature event that provides education and advocacy to pregnant and parenting families. Shower 2 Empower also provides special tracks for fathers on fatherhood and baby engagement which are a priority concern for BIHPI.
Diaper Card Drive
One in three Broward County families struggle to provide their babies with a basic essential – diapers. This is called Diaper Hardship, and there is very little help or public resources for it. The Diaper Card Drive is a community effort to help address the needs of struggling families. By donating $5.00 minimum, we can purchase 40 diapers! Every baby deserves a clean diaper.
Haitian Family Empowerment Workshop (HFEW)
This annual event provides education in Creole to pregnant and parenting Haitian women and their families on keeping their baby safe utilizing our key Safe Baby messaging.
Teen Empowerment Workshop (TEW)
This annual event provides education to pregnant and parenting teens at targeted schools in Broward County on keeping their baby safe utilizing our key Safe Baby messaging. A panel discussion provides the students a platform to voice their thoughts and get questions answered by a medical provider.