ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A new coalition in Dougherty County will work to keep mothers and babies safe and healthy.
The Birth Outcomes Coalition met for the first time Thursday at Phoebe's Learning Center Conference Room.
The coalition will take aim at Dougherty County's higher than average rate of mother and infant deaths.
Southwest Georgia Department of Public Health Director Charles Ruis said Dougherty County has a rate of 12 to 15 percent of maternal and infant death, while the state average is 8 to 9 percent.
The Georgia Department of Public Health create a grant for the coalition.
The group is made up of local leaders from different healthcare systems, Albany State University, and state lawmakers.
"It's going to take more than a healthcare entity to come along and fix it," said Jack Owens, Phoebe's NICU Medical Director. "It's going to require a community."
"If we pool our knowledge and our resources and our energies, we think we can address this problem and reduce the problem birthrates that we have in Dougherty County," said Ruis.
The coalition is still inviting community members and organizations to be part of it.
If you're interested in joining, contact Phoebe Network of Trust at (229) 312-4620.
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