MILWAUKEE (WSAU) One of Wisconsin’s largest banks will try to help Milwaukee solve its problem with infant mortality. B-M-O Harris Bank says it will donated three-quarter million dollars to the Greater Milwaukee United Way, which will expand its “Healthy Birth Initiative.”
Milwaukee has one of the nation’s highest big-city mortality rates for babies – and B-M-O vice-president Brad Chapin said quote, “That is not how we want to be defined in Milwaukee.”
Mayor Tom Barrett will become the chairman of the Healthy Birth Initiative. He promised last year to reduce Milwaukee’s black infant mortality rate by 15-percent in the next five years – and to reduce the city’s overall mortality rate by 10-percent. The city’s death rate for black babies is three times as large as whites. About a fifth of the B-M-O Harris donation, or $150,000 will be given to community health centers in predominantly black areas.
The Progressive Community Centers will hire a full-time nurse devoted to women’s health care, and help pre-natal patients. About 90-percent of Progressive’s pre-natal patients are black, about 70-percent live below 200-percent of the federal poverty level.