Listen: On Day 47 of 50 in Meet The Need, we spend the day with the Planning Council for Health and Family Services. Primarily serving counties in Southeastern Wisconsin, their mission is to advance community health and human services through planning, evaluation, and research. They work with organizations and stakeholders within a community to address problems and solve problems using the tools of research and data.
They're currently taking on a variety of issues (check out an overview on their website), and when I sat down with Quinton Cotton from the Planning Council, we got into their work with the crisis level of infant mortality in Milwaukee's African American community through a project called the Life Course Initiative for Healthy Families. Quinton brings us inside this effort:
-What is meant by infant mortality being at "crisis level?" Quinton gives a description of the problem:
-In looking for a solution, first the Planning Council recognizes that infant mortality isn't a health outcome whose cause can be isolated to a single factor:
-Intuitively, I expected that infant mortality rates would be consistent for low income communities, regardless of race. As it turns out, the numbers show that the problem is more prevalent in communities of color. Quentin explains this phenomenon using the concept of "weathering:"
-What does their response look like? Between now and June 30th, 2011 they are engaging in a community planning process that, amongst other things, will identify assets within the community and find solutions they can implement:
-Since there's still half a year left in their planning process, there's still much that can be done. Quentin shares his hopes for the product of the process:
-Want to get involved? Quentin gives some examples of how you can help:
This year, we ask you to adopt one or two organizations that connect with you. Want to get involved with the Planning Council? Donate, volunteer, or check out their work yourself. And you can start with their website.