Healthy Start Birth Disparities and Poor Birth Outcomes Workshop 2016

Healthy Start hosted an annual workshop on Friday, November 4, 2016 at our local Florida Department of Health, Brevard County, Viera, Bill Posey Conference Center. This year’s focus was to explore the circumstances that are associated with birth disparities and infant mortality; and how to improve the health and well-being of pregnant and postpartum substance abusing women and their children in our community. Our Birth Disparities and Poor Birth Outcomes Workshop was a successful event that provided 5 CEU’s for Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors, Teachers, Childbirth Educators, Doulas, Dietitians, Nutritionists, and Nurses (RNs, LPNs, CNAs, ARNPs, and Midwives).

We had three outstanding speakers for this year’s workshop…

1) Carol Brady, Project Director, Florida’s Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative
Social Determinants of Health: Why They Matter & What We Can Do About Them:

This session discussed how healthy birth outcomes start in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. Access to social and economic opportunities; the resources and supports available in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities; the quality of our schooling; the safety of our workplaces; the cleanliness of our water, food, and air; and the nature of our social interactions and relationships directly impact the health of mothers, infants and families. The goal of this presentation was to increase understanding of the social determinants of health through experiential learning using the Life Course Game, as well as provide concrete, actionable strategies that can be used by Healthy Start staff and other providers to improve the social and economic well-being of families.

Many attendees inquired on accessing the Life Course Game played during the workshop. Please visit this website to download the game and instructions. This game raised general awareness of the myriad of risk and protective factors that determine a person’s life course (poverty, race, environment, etc.).

2) Dr. Paul Evans, Ph.D., Prevention Specialist, Circles of Care
“Pregnancy Laced with Substance Abuse”, An Epidemiological View of Pregnancy and Substance Use/Abuse:

The troubling issues of substance abuse has reached epidemic proportions in our society today, invading every segment and corner of our population leaving behind a trail of broken lives and families along with a plethora of serious health issues. Girls and women who are pregnant are not immune from this problem and actually present the potential for even a greater risk of negative consequences when you consider the damaging effects on the fetus and possible long-term health issues for the life of the children. This session focused on the history of pregnant women using substances, the factual information of the dangers of substances to the mother and the fetus, and the considerations of possible action steps to lessen substance abuse among women who are pregnant and minimize the negative impacts of substance abuse “laced” into a pregnancy.

3) Dixie Morgese, Executive Director, Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties
Engaging Families Affected by Substance Use:

This presentation looked at the nature and scope of substance use in the family system, the impact of adverse childhood experiences and trauma, and the value of using the Protective Factors Framework and Parent Partner Approach to build the rapport needed to engage families. Ms. Morgese provided practical approaches to effective engagement to improve outcomes.

Our 2017 Workshop will be held on Friday, November 3, 2017 at our local Florida Department of Health, Brevard County, Viera, Bill Posey Conference Center. More information on our 2017 Workshop will be posted soon.