POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 14, 2011:
Extending Life. Fewer babies survive their first birthday in Oklahoma than in almost any other state in the country. Oklahoma ranks 46th in infant mortality, with 8.5 deaths per 1,000 births compared to the national infant mortality rate of 6.7 deaths per 1,000 births. The mortality rate for African American babies born in Oklahoma skyrockets at 18.7 deaths per 1,000 births; for American Indian/Alaskan Native babies, the rate is 9.6.
In an effort to provide all babies born in Oklahoma with the best possible opportunities for a healthy outcome, in 2009 the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and more than 20 partner organizations launched a statewide initiative to reduce the state's infant mortality rate and improve maternal health. This initiative, "Preparing for a Lifetime, It's Everyone's Responsibility," has focused on the leading factors that contribute to infant death including disorders related to low birth weight, short gestation, congenital defects, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Some of the projects underway as part of the initiative include: Piloting a screening tool to assess and educate women on the importance of being healthy before and between pregnancies; Promoting the importance of having a supportive work environment to help women be successful at breastfeeding; Offering online training for nurses, childcare providers, and home visitors on infant safe sleep practices; and several others.
To become a partner in the initiative, or to learn how to help reduce infant deaths in the community, call the OSDH Maternal and Child Health Service at 405-271-4480.
Word for Word. One out of six adults in Tulsa County cannot read well enough to fill out a job application or read a prescription medicine label.
September is National Literacy Awareness Month. Help an adult learn to read by signing up as a tutor for Tulsa City-County Library's Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service.
Currently, the literacy service has nearly 50 adults waiting for reading tutors. You are eligible to serve as a tutor if you are 18 or older and are a high-school graduate. If you're interested in tutoring an adult, a four-part tutor-training workshop is scheduled from 5:45-8:45pm on Sept. 13, 15, 20 and 22 at Central Library, 400 Civic Center.
Each trained volunteer is matched with an adult student to provide one-on-one tutoring once or twice a week. Volunteers are asked to make a one-year commitment to tutor. Tutors must complete all sessions of this workshop.
For more information or to register for the tutor-training workshop, call 918-549-7400 or visit tulsalibrary.org/literacy.
Presiding. Governor Mary Fallin announced she has selected Judge Tom Thornbrugh of Tulsa to fill the vacancy on the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals District Three.
Judge Tom Thornbrugh.
Since 1997, Thornbrugh has served as district court judge for the 14th Judicial District and currently serves as presiding judge. He has presided over more than 200 jury trials involving civil and criminal felony matters.
Before being appointed to the district court, Thornbrugh spent more than 20 years in private law practice in Tulsa. He also served as prosecuting attorney for the city of Bixby and as a municipal court judge for the city of Tulsa. Thornbrugh also served as a legislative advisor for U.S. Senator Dewey Bartlett.
Gearing Up. Registration is open for Continuing Education's ACT preparation courses at Northeastern State University.
ACT prep courses are eight-week instructional classes open to anyone preparing to take the ACT test. These courses are for students planning to test on the Dec. 10 ACT test date, but students are not required to test on that date to attend the courses. All classes are 6-8pm.
Math preparation meets Tuesdays, Oct. 18 through Dec. 6. Cost is $99 per student; English preparation meets Thursdays, Oct. 20 through Dec. 8, and enrollment is also $99 per student; ACT Strategies is Wednesdays, Nov. 30 and Dec. 7. Registration is $20 per student. Students may enroll in all three classes for $199.
For a list of all upcoming classes, visit the Continuing Education Web site at academics.nsuok.edu/continuingeducation. For more information on these or any Continuing Education courses, call 918-444-4610.
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