IU Northwest to Hold Infant Mortality Conference on April 4

Dr. William VanNess, Indiana State Health Commission, to keynote

rot1Northwest Indiana has amongst the highest rates of infant mortality in the nation. To help shed light on this extremely important issue, the Indiana University Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs is hosting an Infant Mortality Conference on Friday, April 4.

The conference, open to the public, will begin at 10 a.m. in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium, located in the Savannah Center.

Dr. William VanNess, the Indiana State Health Commissioner, will be the keynote speaker. He will discuss the infant mortality crisis, and the actions his office is taking to decrease the high rates. Prior to his appointment as the Health Commissioner, VanNess was president and CEO of Community Hospital of Anderson and Madison County. He has 39 years of health care experience in Indiana, including 24 years in active practice as a board-certified family physician.

Following VanNess will be Dr. Janet Seabrook, CEO of Community HealthNet, who will also present on why this health disparity exists in the Northwest Indiana region. Since 2006, Seabrook has worked to establish Community HealthNet as a patient-centered medical home and the first Centering Pregnancy program in Northwest Indiana. Seabrook will moderate a panel discussion of mothers providing their viewpoints and experiences.

Risë Ross-Ratney, the program director of Healthy Start in Gary, and Dr. Janice Zunich, the Director of the Genetics Center at the Indiana University School of Medicine- Northwest, will also present at the conference.

Pre-registration is recommended by emailing im.conf2014@gmail.com.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m., followed by a breakfast reception at 9:30 a.m.

The conference will break for lunch at 12 p.m., and will close by 3 p.m.

For more information, please contact Susan Zinner, J.D., at szinner@iun.edu or (219) 980-6836.