Epidemiology’s role to alter statistics
As Epidemiologists, we aim to prevent illness and negative outcomes to protect our residents. Pregnant persons and infants are a large portion of our population that can be affected by negative outcomes. Working with programs across Tulsa, studying data, providing resources, and empowering those affected, we hope to decrease disparities by focusing our attention where needed most.
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in October is a time to remember the crucial conversation around those affected. Many have experienced first-hand the difficulties in advocating, educating, and empowering pregnant mothers during a time when most vulnerable.
Epidemiologist Highlight: Raven Helmick, Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist
“Preterm birth caused by preeclampsia, a leading cause of maternal and infant mortality in Tulsa County, impacted the health of my mother during her pregnancy. Both my mother and I were blessed that my grandmother provided the advocacy for my mom to seek and receive care in the hospital. Her advocacy saved our lives. One of my passions is turning data into powerful stories and meaningful community action so that I can advocate and support pregnant individuals to help them thrive in Tulsa County. My job as the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist is unique in that I not only support mothers impacted by Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C through education and information to prevent perinatal transmission, but also support our Tulsa Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Project to reduce infant and stillbirth losses and our THD Personal Responsibility and Education Program that empowers young people to make proud and responsible decisions. Maternal and child health incorporates so many aspects across the lifespan, and the health of a child today can impact the health of their future children. I am honored to support three programs that serve maternal and child health on multiple prevention levels.”
Involved THD programs:
Our Epidemiology team works with several internal programs to study data within Tulsa County to address disparities that are zip code specific. The Tulsa Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (TFIMR) aims to reduce infant deaths (specific to one year of age) and stillbirth losses by studying this data and acting in a manner that provides resources and education.
THD’s Personal Responsibility and Education Program (PREP) educates high school students to be proactive in relationships making responsible decisions and advocating for one’s own rights. Our PREP program also collects data with our MCH Epidemiologist to report data for further review.
Our Epidemiology team has developed a Maternal and Child Health Newsletter that is published every other month with resources for mothers, families and fathers to empower this position as a parent and/or guardian. From doula services, car seat training, to finding insurance providers, all resources are specific to Tulsa County and available for families.