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Proctor Asks Tallahassee for $1.4 million to Battle Black Infant Mortality

[UPDATE] Leon County, Florida - March 14, 2012 -

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor spoke before the Tallahassee city commissioners Wednesday (3-14-12)

Proctor is asking the city for $1.4 million dollars to battle black infant mortality in Leon County. He says Leon County is in a health emergency as its black infant mortality rate has increased 20 percent in the last four years.

"Aside from charging neighborhood health for services, I think the city should focus its efforts to help come up with solutions and help investigate a problem that's very serious," says Proctor.

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[UPDATE] Leon County, Florida - March 7, 2012 -

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor says black infant mortality over the last four years has increased 20 percent.

He's asking Florida Governor Rick Scott to declare Leon County as a state of health emergency status. He says the resources could help reverse the deaths of 18 babies per 1,000 births.

Proctor says, "It's inexcusable that the governor sleeps and goes to bed and wakes up in the midst of an area that has third-world infant mortality. Nobody should go to sleep comfortable or wake up feeling good about this reality."

Health care providers say Leon County ranks 28th in the world in infant mortality, saying that's worse than Cuba.

Physicians say the main contributors are low birth rate and pre-maturity.

They say the black infant mortality rate is disproportionate mainly due to the lack of pre-natal care.

Donald Michel, M.D. says, "Some patients come in, they may be in their second or third trimester, which is way too late to seek pre-natal. Half of the time they say they had no medical coverage and that's why they decide to come at such a late stage."

Commissioner Bill Proctor has asked the Bond Community Health Center to be the lead provider in helping to fight infant mortality. Doctors at Bond say the the infant mortality is actually going down at the center.

Temple Robinson, M.D. at Bond Community Health Center says, "We have a low birth death rate and low birth weight rate. Our rate is better the state by 200 percent."

Dr. Robinson says education is the main key in fighting the problem.

Commissioner Bill Proctor is also asking fellow commissioners to get on-board in this fight against infant mortality in the community.

Proctor requesting the Leon County Commission to reactivate the defunct Health Care Advisory Board.

Proctor says there are too many medical resources in Leon County to not address what he calls a health crisis.

He says, "I think it could be conquered. If I didn't, I wouldn't ask these questions. I wouldn't ask for the response. We have the talent, we need the money, we need the resources to address what obviously is not going right."

Proctor is asking the county administrator and county commission chairman to put the issue on next Tuesday's commission agenda for discussion.

Click on the tabs above this story to read Commissioner Proctor's letter to the governor and to the commission.

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Leon County, Florida - March 7, 2012 -

Press Release

Commissioner Bill Proctor has requested Governor Rick Scott to declare Leon County as a state of health emergency status. Citing the 20 percent increase in black infant mortality over the last four years, Commissioner Proctor has said that this situation exceeds third world infant mortality rates and warrants the focused and targeted resources of the State of Florida to help reverse the deaths of 18 babies per 1,000 births.

Additionally, the Commissioner has asked the Commission Chairman Akin Akinyemi and County Administrator Vince Long to agenda an immediate discussion item for this Tuesday’s County Commission meeting. Commissioner Proctor has said there are too many medical resources in the capital county of Florida than to allow a world class health crisis to go unaddressed.

Commissioner Proctor also requested that the County would consider reactivating the defunct Health Care Advisory Board.

Documents are attached above in PDF format.


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