Community Voice: Taking it to the People is a program designed to increase community awareness and knowledge of Black American infant mortality and the basics of mother and baby care. Click here to learn more about Community Voice.

The leading primary causes of death of infants in Henrico County are extreme immaturity and prematurity, followed by sudden infant death syndrome.  These three causes account for about 30% of the infant deaths in Henrico.

Links have been identified between infant mortality and poverty in Central Virginia – a relationship that exists in communities around the world. Fifty-eight percent of infant deaths in the Richmond Metro Area have been found to be directly related to low Block Group Poverty Level (a term used to describe people that reside within a few blocks of one another). As a result of this, the Henrico County Health Department is concentrating its infant mortality reduction efforts in areas of the county that have seen the largest number of infant deaths – the Fairfield and Varina magisterial districts.

The Community Voice Program increases community awareness, delivers perinatal information, promotes healthcare, motivates people, and encourages lifestyle changes for mothers.  The program uses an asset-based approach that cultivates individual and community empowerment. It takes a grass roots approach, working to effectively communicate and provide community awareness and information on issues affecting both woman and baby health.

Who is Taking it to the People for?

The program is for people who want to become Lay Health Advisors (LHAs). LHAs can be anyone — men, women, teenagers, grandmothers, teachers, ministers, and others interested in lowering the number of black infant deaths in our community.