From Day One (FDO) is a comprehensive patient-centered program designed to educate and support expectant mothers from the first trimester of pregnancy through their child’s first year of life. This program was designed by a team led by Dr. Khalilah Brown and it is sponsored by JCDH. The mission of FDO is to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes for women and infants in Jefferson County by promoting early access to prenatal care and connecting families to beneficial community resources. This mission is accomplished by intervention strategies for identifying barriers, improving access to care, providing continuous education, and enhancing support networks. The target population served by From Day One (FDO) consists of high-risk pregnant women, their infants and maternal partners with an emphasis on low-resourced, low-income, underinsured, uninsured and minority patient populations.
The FDO program is designed to make a direct impact in Jefferson County as it relates to improving infant outcomes and decreasing infant mortality through evidence-based methods of intervention. As shown in the 2015 Alabama Community Health Assessment, Alabama had the second highest rate of infant mortality of all states in 2010, with 1,522 Alabama infant lives lost from 2010-2012. In 2017, the infant mortality rate of 7.4 deaths per 1,000 live births was the lowest in Alabama history and is an improvement over the 2016 rate of 9.1. A total of 435 infants born in Alabama died before reaching 1 year of age in 2017; 537 infants died in 2016. While there is a longstanding disparity between birth outcomes for black and white infants, the infant mortality rate for black infants declined to an all-time low in 2017, and the infant mortality rate for white infants was the second lowest. Even though there is a decline in numbers, there is still a disparity among races which remains high. Jefferson County data shows that 16% of women did not receive prenatal care in the first trimester and 19% of women did not receive adequate prenatal care. FDO focuses on improving birth outcomes by educating and empowering women to set and meet good preventative health goals.
FDO helps expectant mothers and maternal partners to discontinue use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, as well as promote a healthy diet and regular exercise during pregnancy. This directly impacts the number of low birth weight babies born in the state of Alabama, which is currently 10.1%. FDO educates parents on infant home and car seat safety, as well as child health and development with a goal of decreasing infant morbidity and mortality. Through educational enrichment, parents are empowered to provide excellent infant care in a safe home environment.
Jefferson County Department of Health partnered with Connection Health, a non-profit agency, to implement a Community Health Workers (CHW) model to address the high rates of infant mortality. The program provides direct services, including baseline client assessments, infant safety, home environmental assessments, medical adherence evaluations, health goal monitoring, primary health care visit appointment reminders, and health education to first-time mothers living in poverty. FDO also provides clinical support through CHWs. CHWs are laypersons with a close understanding of the community they serve and assist clients in adhering to licensed practitioner prescribed activities. The program has five CHWs, two of whom are bilingual, and 80 active clients of 109 who were referred to the program.
FDO maintains the following partnerships, all which support and promote excellent maternal and infant care: Cribs 4 Kids, Bundles of Hope, and St. Vincent’s Maternity Department (specifically for Latina clients), clothing closets, food pantries, and local educational organizations providing GED completion services. Lastly, FDO has hosted two Baby Safety Showers for clients in their third trimester of pregnancy. Through each shower, participants learned CPR, proper car seat installation, correct sleeping positions/safe sleep and healthy breastfeeding (e.g., proper ways to breastfeed, information on natural immunity). The clients also received information on fire safety in the home from the fire department and gun safety/being aware of your surroundings from the police. Children’s Poison Control provided information on safety-proofing the home from everyday household items and how to give infants medication properly. Finally, there were speakers who provided information on stress relief and Shaken Baby Syndrome. All the information given during the Baby Safety Shower was to improve the health of moms and their babies. The purpose of the Baby Safety Shower is to educate parents about infant safety, prevent childhood injuries and to demonstrate that the shower format is an effective means of providing injury prevention information to caregivers.
Read more from clients and a community health worker below.
“I am so thankful for this program. My community health workers have spent so much time with me. Thank you for all the help you have provided to me and all the other women.” — From Day One client, mother of two
“I love Ms. Jeanetta and the From Day One program. She has helped me tremendously. My boyfriend and I are so thankful for everything we have received.” – From Day One client, mother of three
“I received a lot of good information at the baby shower and I am thankful for this program.” – From Day One client, mother of three
“Working with the young women is so fulfilling. There is something new every day. Being a community health worker has its ups and downs, but there is nothing more rewarding than to see my clients succeed and take steps to improve their lives and the lives of their children.” Jeannetta White, Community Health Worker with From Day One
ConnectionHealth is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that was founded in Birmingham, Alabama. ConnectionHealth is the only nonprofit organization in Alabama that trains and employs community health workers to address the needs of Alabama’s most vulnerable citizens. Currently, we serve citizens in Jefferson County and the Black Belt Region. We provide community-based support with the goal of assisting our clients to achieve healthier lives. Trained community health workers currently work with clients facing chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, as well as high-risk pregnant women. For more information about ConnectionHealth, please visit http://www.connectionhealth.org.