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Report
SISTERS UNITED:
A community based
initiative to reduce infant
mortality in the African
American community
Arkansas Department of Health
Office of Minority Health &
Health Disparities
Family Health Branch
1
2
3
MISSION
 to
provide leadership in improving health
outcomes by advocating for health
equity for at-risk populations as defined by
race or ethnicity, age, education,
disability, gender, geographical location,
income, and sexual orientation.
4
OBJECTIVES
 Describe
the burden of infant mortality in
Arkansas’ African American communities.
 Describe
a state health agency role in
reducing infant mortality.
 Describe
key components of an initiative
aimed at reducing infant mortality.
5
MINORITIES IN ARKANSAS
 Consist
of 670,689 (23%) of the population:
 African-American
(15.4%)
 Latino
(6.4%)
 Asian (1.2%)
 American Indian/Alaskan Native (0.8%)
 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.2%)*
 Multiple Races (2.0%)
 Other (3.4%)
Source: www.2010.census.gov
6
Age-Adjusted Mortality Rates by Cause, Race and Ethnicity
Arkansas 2008-2012 – Based on Level of Disparity
Total
African American
White
Disparity
Ranking
HIV
2.2
7.6
1.2
6.3
Homicide
7.5
21.1
4.8
4.4
Diabetes
26.2
57.6
22.9
2.5
Asthma
1.3
2.6
1.2
2.2
Cervical cancer
3.3
5.9
3.0
2.0
Infant mortality*
7.3
11.8
6.4
1.8
Colorectal cancer
18.5
24.9
18.0
1.4
Cerebrovascular disease
51.7
69.47
50.09
1.4
Cause of Mortality
7
Infant Mortality Rate by Maternal
Race, Arkansas Resident Births
20
15.7
Per 1,000 Live Births
16
14.7
13.7
12.0
12.7
12.8
12.8
12.4
12.3
11.3
12
8.2
8
12.3
7.6
7.3
6.4
8.3
7.2
8.8
7.7
9.4
8.1
8.0
7.1
6.3
8.3
6.8
7.5
7.1
7.3
6.9
7.0
6.4
6.0
6.4
6.3
5.9
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
4
Total
White
Black
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Source: Linked Birth/Infant Death Files, Health Statistics Branch, Arkansas Department of Health
8
ARKANSAS RISK FACTORS
Infants:

birth weights less than 3.3 pounds

born at gestational ages less than 32 weeks

birth defects

mothers had no prenatal care

mothers who smoked ≥ pack of cigarettes per day

mothers had at least one medical complication

African American
9
ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM
 Our
office was asked by the Branch
Chief of the Family Health Branch to
assist with addressing these disparities.
 We
suggested mobilizing graduate
sorority chapters.
 Met
with key partners to determine the
major focus areas of this new project.
10
POTENTIAL FOCUS AREAS
Low
birth weight
Birth defects
Immunization rates
SIDS
Breastfeeding
Tobacco use
11
Low Birth Weight

Prematurity is the leading cause of
African American death in the 1st
year of life

African Americans have 3X s the rate of 28 week
babies as other races

Preterm deliveries account for the vast majority of
racial disparity
12
Birth Defects
 2nd
life
leading cause of death in the 1st year of
 About
1 in every 33 babies is born with a
birth defect.
 Most
occur in the first 3 months of
pregnancy.
13
Flu Immunization During Pregnancy

Flu Shot can:
• decrease the chance of mother and
baby dying from the flu by 50%
• decrease the chance of mother and
baby getting the flu and premature
delivery by 70%

Pregnant women that received a flu shot
Latino------------69%
White----------------66%
African Americans ----40%
14
SIDS
 Always
putting a baby to sleep on
their back decreases SIDS by 50%
 Only
1 out of 3 Black Moms always
put their babies to sleep on their
backs
2
out of 3 White Moms always put
their babies to sleep on their backs
15
Breastfeeding Rates in Arkansas
Women Who Ever Breastfed by Race/Ethnicity: Arkansas, 2008-2010
100
90.6
90
80
Percent
70
69.1
72.7
60
50
41.4
40
30
20
10
0
Total
White, NH
Black,NH
Source: Arkansas PRAMS
Hispanic
16
Tobacco Use
Smoking
African
American Moms
have low smoking rates
• AR pregnant smoking
average--------------------24%
• AA AR Moms--------------12%
FOCUS AREAS
1
2
3
• Folic Acid
• Flu Shot
• Breastfeeding
• Safe Sleep
17
18
Why Sororities?
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History of Fraternities and
Sororities

AA fraternities and sororities
have roots in Masonry.

Inclusion was not welcoming
to African Americans so a
“black version” was created
in the late 1700s.

The first white fraternity was
established in 1776.

The first white was formed in
1867.
20
History of AA Sororities
1908
1913
1920
1922
21
Notable Members
AΦА
ΔΣΘ
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
Founded in 1906 at Cornell University
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr
Civil Rights Activist
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Founded in 1913 at Howard University
Dr. Joycelyn Elders
Former US Surgeon General
AKА
ΦBΣ
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Founded in 1908 at Howard University
Phylicia Rashad
Actor
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
Founded in 1914 at Howard University
Rep. John Lewis
US Congressman
KАΨ
ZΦB
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Founded in 1911 at Indiana University
Johnnie Cochran
Attorney
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
Founded in 1920 at Howard University
Zora Neal Hurston
Author
ΩΨΦ
ΣΓΡ
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
Founded in 1911 at Howard University
Ronald McNair
Challenger Astronaut
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority
Founded in 1922 at Butler University
Victoria Rowell
Actor
22
Honorary Members
Former US President Bill Clinton
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Arkansas African American Sorority Graduate Chapters (2012)
AKA CHAPTER’S
Beta Phi Omega
Chi Eta Omega
Chi Nu Omega
Delta Omega Omega
Eta Sigma Omega
Kappa Nu Omega
Lambda Sigma Omega
Mu Chi Omega
Phi Alpha Omega
Phi Zeta Omega
Pi Chi Omega
Sigma Beta Omega
ZETA CHAPTER’S
Tjuana Byrd
Philis L. Nichols-Anderson
Laura M. Hunter
Cynthia L. Bennett
Jacqueline E.H. Young
Genee' L. Gaines
Bobbie Trible-Diamond
Donna Faye Ross
Ella Donnell Lambey
Patricia Doss Glover
Angela Marie Davis
Sheryl Hamilton
Sherwood
LR, Faulkner
Malvern
Pine Bluff
Marianna
Jonesboro
Blytheville
Helena
Bentonville
Magnolia
West Memphis
Camden
Alpha Mu Zeta Chapter Beverly Cook
Eta Sigma Zeta
Kathy Tatum
Epsilon Zeta Zeta
Juanita Cook
Nu Omega Zeta
Sabreana Hytche
Sigma Gamma Zeta
Aja Osler
Upsilon Pi Zeta
Treva Sanders
Xi Sigma Zeta
Sandra Taylor
Psi Iota Zeta
Carolyn Saterfield
Pi Psi Zeta
Shonta Williams
Pi Chi Zeta
Nashanda Brown
Theta Gamma Zeta
U. Jean Williams
Iota Beta Zeta
Marva Washington
Little Rock
No. Little Rock
Pine Bluff
Arkadelphia
Jonesboro
West Memphis
Forrest City
Camden
Stamps
Lowell
West Helena
Osceola
DELTA CHAPTER’S
Central Arkansas Alumnae
Northwest Area Alumnae
Blytheville Alumnae
Forrest City Alumnae
Fort Smith Alumnae
Helena Alumnae
Hot Springs Alumnae
Jonesboro Alumnae
Little Rock Alumnae
Magnolia Alumnae
Marianna Alumnae
Pine Bluff Alumnae
Southeast Arkansas Alumnae
West Memphis Area Alumnae
Texarkana Alumnae
Claudette Barbee
Kimberly McGee
Floyd Jean Moore
Kristen Haynes
Tiffinee C. Baker
Tanya Greenberry
Amanda Snowdan
Kim McCray
Angela Doyne
Cheryl Stuart
Janis Waddy
Charlene Kelley
Rhonda Rigell
Sheri Lowe
Patricia Anthony
Little Rock
Fayetteville
Blytheville
Forrest City
Fort Smith
West Helena
Arkadelphia
State University
Little Rock
Magnolia
Marianna
Pine Bluff
Monticello
West Memphis
Texarkana
SIGMA GAMMA RHO
CHAPTER’S
Little Rock -Theta Sigma
Conway -Kappa Xi Sigma
Pine Bluff- Kappa Psi Sigma
Carroll Brown
Monika Miller
Dorothy Penix
Little Rock
Maumelle
Pine Bluff
Data source: State Coordinators of African American Sorority Graduate Chapters
Arkansas African American Sorority Graduate Chapters
Data source: State Coordinators of African American Sorority Graduate Chapters
Alpha Kappa Alpha (1908)
“Service to All Mankind”







12 chapters
Oldest Chartered Chapter: Beta Pi Omega (1937)
699 combined members
6 websites
4 Facebook accounts
Over 800 combined Facebook contacts
1 Chapter has past experience in infant mortality
Delta Sigma Theta (1913)
“Intelligence is the torch of wisdom”







15 chapters
Oldest Chartered Chapter: Pine Bluff Alumnae (1944)
860 combined members
6 websites
2 Facebook accounts
203 combined FB contacts
1 chapter has past experience in infant mortality
Zeta Phi Beta (1920)
“A community conscious, action-oriented organization”
12 Chapters (9 responses)
 Oldest Chartered Chapter: Alpha Mu Zeta (1940)
 203 combined members
 2 websites
 1 Facebook account
 128 combined FB contacts
 5 chapters have past experience in infant
mortality

Sigma Gamma Rho (1922)
“Greater Service, Greater Progress”







3 Chapters
Oldest Chartered Chapter: Theta Sigma (1932)
29 combined membership
0 Facebook account
0 Combined FB contacts
0 websites
1 Chapter has past experience in infant mortality
SISTERS UNITED POTENTIAL IMPACT







42 Chapters
1,762 combined members
7 Chapters have past experience in Infant Mortality
23 counties
315,986 AA’s in counties
Over 1,100 combined FB contacts
14 websites / 7 Facebook accounts
30
SISTERS UNITED
 Invited presidents of African American Sorority
graduate chapters to attend leadership meeting.
 Asked for
their help by joining SISTERS UNITED.
 31 out of 42 chapters joined and committed to send
representatives to attend an 8 hour training.
31
WORK GROUP MEMBERS
3 members from each chapter
Prefer MDs, PhDs, Nurses, Public Health
professionals
Able to attend meetings during work hours
At least one member > 50 (grandmother)
32
SISTERS UNITED GOAL
To
increase awareness
among African
Americans about infant
mortality and share
prevention methods to
disseminate throughout
the community.
33
SOCIAL MEDIA
34
FACEBOOK
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EVALUATION
2
- flu shot
 1- folic acid
 1- breastfeeding
 2 - safe sleep
38
TRAINING

58 sorority members from the 31
chapters attended a train-the-trainer
conference

The attendees received name badges
with the title SISTERS UNITED
TRAINER

Session included mock interviews to
learn how to deliver effective media
messages.

Participants received a binder with
handouts, flash drive, evaluation
forms, talking points when scheduling
media interviews and youtube videos.
BRANDING
39
MINI-GRANTS
 NICHD released RFA to conduct
community outreach and
education aimed at reducing the
risk of SIDS within the AfricanAmerican community.
 Our office encouraged each SU
chapter to apply for these funds.
 A total
of 29 organizations
awarded grants and 21 of those
were SISTERS UNITED chapters.
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45
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PORTRAIT UNVEILING
“The artwork entitled, Sisters United, is a representation of
African-American Greek sororities united on a campaign
to address the community on information to help reduce
the infant mortality rate in the state of Arkansas. The
globe in the artwork represents the future of our world as
these sororities come together to ensure the safety and
future potential that our children have in making this
world a better place. By reducing the infant mortality
rate, our children will thrive to become educated
individuals destined to change this world.”
47
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Total = 970
2013 Community Survey
RESPONSE SUMMARY
PRE TEST
POST TEST
1. The illness caused by the flu virus is worse in a pregnant woman
79%
76%
2. The flu can cause a very mild illness in a pregnant woman
32%
30%
3. It is harmful for the baby if the mother receives a flu shot during pregnancy*
24%
9%
4. A flu shot taken during pregnancy can be harmful for the baby*
27%
7%
5. A flu shot during pregnancy can protect an unborn baby*
63%
88%
6. A flu shot during pregnancy can protect the baby after birth*
39%
57%
7. A flu shot can protect a pregnant woman's life*
50%
63%
8. A flu shot can put a pregnant woman's life in danger*
12%
4%
9. Folic acid intake is harmful for a pregnant*
12%
3%
10. Folic acid intake helps prevent some birth defects in the baby only if mom
takes it for at least 3 months before getting pregnant*
56%
73%
11. Folic acid should be taken by a pregnant woman before/during pregnancy
74%
76%
* Statistically significant; Two Sample z-test
49
2013 Community Survey Results
RESPONSE SUMMARY
PRE TEST
POST TEST
12. Breastfeeding increases the risk of chronic disease in the baby
7.4%
8.5%
13. Breastfeeding is harmful to the mother's health
14.1%
13.0%
14. Breastfeeding is the beginning of healthy eating for the baby
88.2%
86.7%
15. Breastfeeding builds a loving relationship between mom and the baby
69.4%
71.3%
16. Breastfeeding is important for moms who cannot afford formula*
44.1%
53.8%
17. Breastfeeding reduces the chance of SIDS by 50%*
49.1%
68.0%
18. A baby should be laid down on his/her side to sleep*
17.2%
3.2%
19. A baby should be laid down on his/her stomach to sleep*
14.4%
4.4%
20. A baby should be laid down on his/her back to sleep*
77.0%
94.1%
21. It is safer for a baby to sleep in the same bed as the parents
2.7%
2.3%
22. It is safer for a baby to be wrapped in several blankets for sleep
4.1%
2.1%
23. It is safer for a baby to sleep in their own crib#
97.1%
97.9%
* Statistically Significant; Two Sample z-test
50
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WORK PLANS (Level 1)
Goal: Increase awareness among the African American community about infant mortality and
share prevention methods they can use to disseminate throughout their respective
communities.
Objective: Increase Education and Expand Outreach. To reach 30 African Americans and
provide education about the importance of folic acid, getting an annual flu shot during
pregnancy, breastfeeding, and safe sleep methods.
Key Action Steps:
Target Outcome Measure
Time Frame
Promote National Birth
Defects Prevention
Month
Post message on chapter FB page about the
benefits of folic acid and share YouTube video
January 7, 2014
Promote National
Breastfeeding Month
Post message on chapter FB page about the
benefits of breastfeeding
August 1, 2014
Promote Infant
Mortality Awareness
Month
Post message on chapter FB page and
encourage all members to change FB profile pic
to SU logo for 24 hours.
September 1,
2014
Promote SIDS
Awareness Month
Post message on chapter FB page about SIDS
Prevention
October 1, 2014
53
WORK PLANS (Level 2)
Promote National Birth Defects
Prevention Month
Post message on chapter FB page about the
benefits of folic acid and share YouTube video
January 13,
2014
Conduct Folic Acid Presentation
at Chapter Meeting
10 SU Pre/Post Surveys on Folic Acid, Fax
forms to Cicely at 501.661.2414
February
2014
Promote National Breastfeeding
Month
Conduct Breastfeeding
Presentation at Chapter Meeting
Post message on chapter FB page about the
benefits of breastfeeding
10 SU Pre/Post Surveys on Folic Acid, Fax
forms to Cicely at 501.661.2414
August 1,
2014
August 2014
Promote Infant Mortality
Awareness Month
Post message on chapter FB page and
encourage all members to change FB profile
pic to SU logo for 24 hours.
Post message on chapter FB page about
SIDS Prevention
Sept 1, 2014
Promote SIDS Awareness Month
October 1,
2014
Conduct Safe Sleep Presentation 10 SU Pre/Post Surveys on Folic Acid, Fax
at Chapter Meeting
forms to Cicely at 501.661.2414
October 2014
Conduct Flu Shot Presentation at
Chapter meeting
Nov 2014
10 SU Pre/Post Surveys on Folic Acid, Fax
forms to Cicely at 501.661.2414
54
WORK PLANS (Level 3)
Promote National Birth
Defects Prevention Month
Post message on chapter FB page about the
benefits of folic acid and share YouTube video
January 13,
2014
Conduct Folic Acid
Presentation at Chapter
Meeting
SIDS Walk Run
10 SU Pre/Post Surveys on Folic Acid, Fax forms to
Cicely at 501.661.2414
Feb 2014
50 SIDS Grant Pre/Post Surveys on Safe Sleep.
Submit forms to NICHD according to guidelines.
May 2014
Promote National
Breastfeeding Month
Conduct Breastfeeding
Presentation at Chapter
Meeting
Promote Infant Mortality
Awareness Month
Post message on chapter FB page about the
benefits of breastfeeding
10 SU Pre/Post Surveys on Folic Acid, Fax forms to
Cicely at 501.661.2414
Aug 1, 2014
Post message on chapter FB page and encourage
all members to change FB profile pic to SU logo for
24 hours.
Post message on chapter FB page about SIDS
Prevention
10 SU Pre/Post Surveys on Folic Acid, Fax forms to
Cicely at 501.661.2414
Sept 1, 2014
10 SU Pre/Post Surveys on Folic Acid, Fax forms to
Cicely at 501.661.2414
Nov 2014
Promote SIDS Awareness
Month
Conduct Safe Sleep
Presentation at Chapter
Meeting
Conduct Flu Shot
Presentation at Chapter
meeting
August 2014
Oct 1, 2014
October
2014
55
42 African American Sorority Graduate Chapters, 2014
SISTERS UNITED
Source: State Coordinators of African American Sorority Graduate Chapters
58
SUCCESSES
59
STATE REPLICATION
 List
of chapters in your state
 Contact chapter presidents
 Convene leadership meeting
 Form SU action group
 Provide training
 Develop work plans
 Follow-up with chapters
 Utilize social media
 Evaluation tool
 Consider chapter sustainability
60
RESOURCES
https://www.facebook.com/arsistersunited
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4IlmpQ54Y4 (Intro)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0Nxhsx9Iok (Folic Acid)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAiLaNgarb4 (Flu Shot)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIAycz8DYJk&feature=plcp
(Breastfeeding)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfudqfhjVgs (Safe Sleep)
http://vimeo.com/22659669 (Crisis in the Crib)
www.aka1908.com
http://www.deltasigmatheta.org/
http://www.zphib1920.org/
http://www.sgrho1922.org/home
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvtfJjw4_g4 (Impact Video)

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