Syracuse Healthy Start Consortium’s 4th Annual Syracuse Stroll – A Community Event to Celebrate Every Baby’s First Birthday

The Syracuse Stroll, originally scheduled for September 13th, will be held this Saturday, September 20th.  In recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness Month and the important role of parents and the whole community in promoting healthier birth outcomes, The Syracuse Healthy Start Consortium will host the fourth annual Syracuse Stroll: Baby Buggy Walk in the Park, a community health festival and fitness walk at Kirk Park. This free family event will begin at 10:30 am, and provide an opportunity for families to come together for exercise and fun activities, to receive valuable health information and screenings and to enjoy a fun day in the park. The Syracuse event is one of 18 Baby Buggy Walk in the Park festivals happening in other cities across the nation, calling attention to the link between healthy lifestyles, healthy families and healthy babies. The lead sponsors for the 4th Annual Syracuse Stroll are the Office of Minority Health and UnitedHealthcare. Additional sponsors are Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Iota Nu Omega Chapter, and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

While the infant mortality rate is declining overall across the nation and in New York State, rates still remain high in Syracuse, particularly among minority families. According to the Onondaga County Health Department’s 2014-2017 Community Health Assessment and Improvement plan, the infant mortality rate in Onondaga County is nearly three times higher for African American infants (12.4 deaths per 1,000 live births) than for white infants (4.3 deaths per 1,000 live births).

In addition to celebrating receipt of federal funding to continue the Syracuse Healthy Start project for the next five years, at this event, the Syracuse Healthy Start Consortium will also celebrate the launch of a new, community driven media campaign which promotes Safe Sleep for babies. This timely launch will address ways to reduce the risk of infant death in association with an unsafe sleep environment, a problem which continues to contribute to far too many infant deaths in Onondaga County.

Syracuse Healthy Start is a federally funded program of the Onondaga County Health Department’s (OCHD’s) Healthy Families Division. This program strives to reduce infant mortality locally by promoting healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. This is accomplished through community partnerships, health education, and case management services. Syracuse Healthy Start’s Consortium is a forum that brings together health care providers, human service workers, and local families to discuss and advise on program efforts. Consortium membership is open to all Syracuse families, health and human services providers, community members, civic leaders, businesses, community and faith-based organizations. REACH CNY, Inc. is the Perinatal Network serving Cayuga, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties and is a community partner of the OCHD’s Healthy Families Division, which coordinates the Syracuse Healthy Start Consortium.

For more information about the Baby Buggy Walk in the Park and to register, please visit