Track 5 - Healthy Populations and Communities (Chronic Disease

Infectious Disease & Resilience)

Sharing Session - 30 Minutes

D10 - Engaging a Small Community Toward Safe Sleep through the Baby Box Program

Wednesday, July 11
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Balcony L

To address a high infant mortality rate, the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County has implemented a baby box program. The program, been a multi-level community project, provides a safe sleep space for babies and an opportunity to educate parents about safe sleep practices and breastfeeding. Using the baby boxes in key education areas − such as the sheriff's office, Healthy Start, WIC offices, local emergency rooms, and community events − reaches mothers and other family members responsible for the care of an infant.

Keywords

Maternal and Child Health, Violence and Injury Prevention, Health Education

Mary Wachira, IBCLC

Health Educator Consultant, Lactation Consultant
Florida Department of Health in Citrus County

Mary “Maret” Wachira has worked for the Florida Department of Health for over 3 years. She is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and is the lead consultant for the Florida Healthy Babies Initiative in Citrus County. Maret is the Advocacy Chair and regional board member of the Tampa Bay Breastfeeding Task Force, and previously served as the taskforce Outreach Chair. She developed and implemented the Citrus County Baby Box Program – helping hundreds of new moms provide a safe sleeping alternative for their newborn infants. She additionally serves as the Maternal Mental Health Advocate for the Citrus County Subcommittee on Behavioral Health, and has been instrumental in county efforts to address neonatal abstinence issues through the regional Substance Exposed Task Force. She has worked as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor in both Arizona and Florida, and is an active member of several outreach groups – including the Florida West Coast Breastfeeding Task Force. She is a board member at-large of “The Seventh Mom Project:” a grass-roots support group focused on perinatal mood disorders, peer-to-peer networking, and breastfeeding education.

In her role at the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County, Maret has been instrumental in facilitating the adoption of “Baby Friendly” policies at both local hospitals - working to support mothers and babies to have healthier lives. Maret routinely provides practical advice to mothers and families on dealing with postpartum depression, prenatal care, health equity, and breastfeeding assistance.

Maret is the proud mother of 2 boys, aged 10 and 3.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mary Wachira

Kelli Curl, MPH

Health Educator
Florida Department of Health in Citrus County

Kelli Curl is a Health Educator for the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County and Larimer County, CO. She has experience working in county health departments working on projects related to tobacco prevention, emergency preparedness, maternal and infant health, data and statistics, reproductive health, immunizations, and community outreach. She obtained a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Colorado State University and a Master of Public Health with a focus in Health Communications from the Colorado School of Public Health. Kelli facilitated the launch of the Florida Healthy Babies Initiative in Citrus County, a statewide project that is driven by each county's local community to address high rates of infant mortality and the major discrepancies between black and white infant mortality rates.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Kelli Curl

Ernesto G. Rubio, MPH

Health officer
Florida Department of Health in Citrus County

Mr. Ernesto “Tito” Rubio became the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County (DOH - Citrus) Administrator in December 2015. Overseeing a staff of 85, with a budget of over $5.2 million, the agency serves a combined rural and metropolitan population of approximately 142,000 residents.

Before coming to Citrus County, I served as the Chief Financial Officer for Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County starting in 2014. I previously served as Administrative Services Director, Field Support Trainer for Florida Department of Health from 2006 to 2014, and as Business Manager for Florida Department of Health in Indian River from 2002 to 2006. I am a proven leader and organizational strategist, I retired from the military with 9 years of service in the U.S. Navy and 14 years as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Chapman University in 1986, and completed my Master in Public Health from the University of South Florida in December 2013.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Ernesto Rubio


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