Healthy Start for Area Babies

Some area residents say times haven't changed when it comes to accessible health care. Health officials are changing that by starting with women and children.

Perry Resident Carol Palmer says she received pre-natal care for her three children.

However, not all women can say the same.

The Taylor County Health Department says black women are almost four times more likely to deliver extremely prematurely at 20-28 weeks than white mothers.

"You need to be involved in your appointments to find out what's going on with your child; whether it's going to be a healthy child or not so that you can be prepared," Palmer says.

Diane Whitfield says in the 1970's, she would come to the Tidewater Housing Complex as a social worker and give residents rides to the clinic.

She says, today, health care is still hard to obtain. "People here do not have health insurance, jobs are not common for some of the people, and Medicaid is the only source of their health insurance; and that at times is often difficult to have doctors accept," she says.

Transportation wasn't a problem Wednesday. The Taylor County Health Department came to them with a health fair, trying to reach mothers before it's too late.

Program Manager Christie Lutz of the Taylor County Health Department says they, "Go over their environment and different things that they would have access to in order to improve their birth outcomes. We asked them a series of questions and then we can give them health information regarding the things that they should improve prior to becoming pregnant."

Lutz says the key to a healthy baby is giving them a healthy start.

The health fair was part of the Healthy Start Community Outreach Project.