Improving the well-being of mothers, infants and children is an important community health goal for the Knox County Health Department. Their well-being determines the health of the next generation and can help predict future public health challenges for families, communities and the health care system. The Strong Baby project is an effort to promote healthier families and infants.
We invite you to learn more about this project and what all of us can do to make sure our community is full of stronger babies. Click on any of the priorities below for more information:
- Getting early prenatal care
- Eating healthy
- Being tobacco-free
- Recommended immunizations for pregnant mothers, babies, kids, preteens, and teens
- Staying up-to-date on immunizations
- The ABCs of safe sleep for your baby
- Learning about the benefits of breastfeeding and the available support
- Have a full-term baby and wait at least 18 months between pregnancies
- Getting annual checkups with your doctor
Want the Strong Baby posters for your office, clinic, church or organization? Download them here.
Meet Our Strong Babies
Strong Baby Background Information
The Strong Baby project is an outcome of our Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) program, which is funded by the Tennessee Department of Health. FIMR is an action-oriented community process that continually assesses, monitors and works to improve service systems and community resources for women, infants and families. The FIMR program provides support, resource referrals, and information to parents and families whose lives have been affected by the tragic death of an infant or loss of a pregnancy. The program reviews fetal and infant deaths, working at the community level to formulate programs and influence policy that will lead to improving birth outcomes.
As health care providers, we want to better understand why these tragedies occur. We interview mothers and families who have recently experienced the loss of a baby during pregnancy or infancy and who are open to sharing their story. Parents and family members can tell us what their experiences with medical and social service providers were like. The more we know, the more we can help.
Through the FIMR process, we attempt to learn more about the causes and factors related to these early deaths. This information helps local agencies improve or develop better services to address the needs of women, infants and families in our community. Parents who have participated in an interview often say that it was a positive experience that honors the life and memory of their child.
If you have recently experienced the death of a baby during pregnancy, after birth, or up to one year of age—whatever the cause—please contact us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sarah Zimmerman at 865-660-0896. All services are free.
Key steps in the FIMR Process:
- Information about the infant death is gathered. Sources include public health and medical records.
- An interview with the mother who has suffered the loss is conducted if the mother agrees. Professionals with training in grief counseling assess the needs of the family and refer to bereavement support and community resources.
- The Case Review Team composed of health, social service and other experts from the community review this summary of case information and the interview, identify issues and make recommendations for community change if appropriate. All case information presented is de-identified to ensure confidentiality for the families involved.
- The Community Action Team, a diverse group of community leaders, review the Case Review Team’s recommendations, prioritize identified issues, then design and implement interventions to improve service systems and resources.
FIMR Focus Areas:
- Ensuring Safe Sleep for Infants
- Decreasing Prematurity/Preterm Birth
- Increasing Early Prenatal Care
- Ensuring Preconception Care
- Reducing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
Other KCHD programs or information related to child health that may be of interest:
- Breastfeeding Support Group
- Breastfeeding Welcomed Here Pledge
- Safe Sleep and the Cribs for Kids Program
- Home Visiting Services
- Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Information
- Nutrition Education Activity Training (NEAT)
- Cherokee Health Pediatric Primary Care Services
- School-based Dental Preventive Program
- Safe Routes to School
- Women’s Health Clinic
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program
- Prenatal Dental Services