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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Constance N. Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 534B
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5531

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For Immediate Release: April 21, 2009

Sen. Constance Johnson
Sen. Constance Johnson

Johnson Lauds Importance of Event Addressing African-American Infant Mortality Rates

Langston University’s Oklahoma City campus will host “A Healthy Baby Begins with You!” on Thursday, April 30, at 6 p.m. at 4205 N. Lincoln Blvd. The free event will be limited to the first 200 people who reserve a seat by calling 271-1337.

Sen. Constance N. Johnson on Tuesday praised the Oklahoma State Health Department (OSHD) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) for organizing the event to address high African-American infant mortality rates. According to the most recent data, infant mortality rates among African-Americans in Oklahoma remain twice as high as comparable rates for both white and American-Indian infants.

Johnson said the event would highlight the importance of the issue and address potential methods to prevent infant mortality.

“It’s a tragedy that this longstanding disparity persists to such a degree in our state,” said Johnson, D-Oklahoma County. “We can’t expect such disparities to disappear if we don’t make an effort to fully examine and address the problem. I commend the Health Department and the Office of Minority Health for their efforts to highlight this epidemic and help prevent African-American infant mortality.”

OSDH and OMH have partnered with a number of community organizations to host the event. Services including health education, interconceptional care, family support and family planning, parent education and referrals for clothes, housing, diapers and other infant items will be addressed at the event.

“It’s important that state leaders acknowledge the importance of this problem,” Johnson said. “The complexity of the issue demands that we take a thorough and forward-thinking approach to reduce African-American infant mortality rates.”

For more information contact:
Sen. Johnson's Office: 405-521-5531

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