Community Leaders Cabinet Confirms Priority Areas for Addressing Infant Mortality

by | Nov 6, 2019 | Infant Health, Progress, Racial Equity, Transportation

In April 2019, FLOURISH St. Louis recruited 40 community members to serve on its Community Leaders Cabinet, including community leaders from parent and neighborhood groups, doulas, and community health workers, to elevate the challenges Black families are facing in our region.

“This is one of the most important changes we’ve made at FLOURISH,” said Lora Gulley, Director of Community Mobilization and Advocacy. “By shifting our leadership structure, community members are now taking the lead in the direction of FLOURISH’s work going forward.”

The Community Leaders Cabinet helps FLOURISH and its partners, like the local hospital systems, understand the perspective of the community and decide what types of projects in the region get funding that would make the biggest impact for Black families. One of the most important roles for the Community Leaders Cabinet has been helping to set FLOURISH’s priority areas. Over the past several months, they have reviewed data and held discussions around key areas influencing St. Louis’ infant mortality crisis: transportation and housing; safe sleep; coordinated quality care for moms; and racial equity.

“The community members were able to provide profound insights into the real challenges families are facing,” said Gulley. “After we discussed possible ways FLOURISH and our partners might address these issues, each member of the Community Leaders Cabinet voted on the types of interventions that they thought would make the biggest impact. That input will shape our next steps.”

In the coming months, FLOURISH will issue an RFP to fund projects that align with the Community Leaders Cabinet’s priority areas. Some ideas of work that the Cabinet has prioritized for funding include:

  • Safe Sleep: Engagement of parents, grandparents, churches, day cares and other providers around safe sleep.
  • Transportation: Implementation of innovative neighborhood transportation solutions (community mobility managers, bus stop amenities, neighbors driving neighbors).
  • Housing: Advocacy for policy changes to improve healthy, sustainable and quality housing for moms and families.
  • Coordinated Quality Care: Accessibility to group prenatal care and enhanced centering classes for expectant mothers in high-impact zip codes and promotion of high quality, holistic models of care for Black women that would connect them to services, resources and community support.

As FLOURISH’s ambassadors in the community, the Cabinet will begin outreach to neighbors in several of the key zip codes impacted by infant mortality. Their goal is to launch a BLACK BABIES MATTER campaign to raise awareness of infant mortality, as well as gather feedback from the community about the challenges they are facing. In the spring, they plan to host a ‘pop-up’ resource hub in two zip codes – 63107 and 63136 – to connect more families to resources they need for a healthy pregnancy and family.

For more information about the Community Leaders Cabinet and their initiatives, please contact


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