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Community Fair Aims To Curb Infant Mortality Rates

Araceli Gomez-Aldana

CareSource is a nonprofit health plan whose mission is to help mothers stay healthy. They hope to curb Indiana’s high rates of infant and maternal mortality by organizing Mom and Baby Community Fairs. The fair was held in Fort Wayne in early August, one of five they are hosting statewide. 

The Mom and Baby Community Fair was held at the Public Safety Academy at the Ivy Tech South Campus. 

Dr. Cameual Wright is the Medical Director for CareSource and expert on prenatal health.

Wright says CareSource tries to help with what they call the social determinants of health, recognizing that often times the barriers aren’t health related.

“Our members have challenges related to food insecurities, to clothing, to education and employment. We recognize that if you have competing priorities, often times health falls down at the bottom of the list,” said Wright.

During his State of the State address in January, Governor Eric Holcomb spoke about infant mortality and made it a goal to decrease the rate of deaths.

Wright says the fairs are their answer to Holcomb's call to action.

“So we really have partnered together with many community agencies who are also dedicated to the same cause,” said Wright. “We have brought everyone together today to be able to educate members in a fun environment.”

Credit Araceli Gomez-Aldana
Fort Wayne organizations present their information to mothers looking for resources at the Public Safety Academy at Ivy Tech's South Campus.

Iris Reyes is new to Fort Wayne. She is a mother of two and her youngest is three months old. She found out about the event on social media and says the fair is helping her navigate the resources in town.

“I liked it. There are a lot of resources at the fair and it’s a lot of help. I had never heard about Caresource, so that is a new place I learned about,” said Reyes.

Samantha Buchanan is originally from Chicago but has lived in the area for over 10 years. Even though her children are no longer babies, she says she finds the fair useful.

“My children are older, they are 4 and 6 so I have been through all of this before. I recommend it for first time mothers because you learn a lot,” said Buchanan.

CareSource has hosted Mom and Baby Community Fairs in Lake County. They will also visit Tippecanoe and Marion counties this year.