Reducing the infant mortality rate, especially among our black and Hispanic babies, is an important goal for all of us.

During the month of September, Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group marked Infant Mortality Awareness Month by educating our families on how to keep their babies safe and healthy.

It was also a time to celebrate the birth of our babies with our “Look Who’s Turning One” event on September 19. We had a cake, a clown, and many speeches celebrating our babies and their families.

“We want to celebrate our babies and everything in life that they have to look forward to,” said Rhonda Rogers, our executive director.

There’s a lot to celebrate, for sure.

Our partner, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, has worked hard to reduce infant deaths and racial disparities by making sure that expecting families have access to health care and supportive services through a network of providers, including: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, local Healthy Start Coalition, Florida Department of Health’s Palm Beach County office, the county’s Youth Services Department, March of Dimes, and Sickle Cell Foundation.

As a result, the mortality rate for black infants — 6.0 — is at a 20-year low. And our county is doing better at reducing that rate than the state, and all other urban Florida counties, according to Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.