First Lady Holcomb Helps Kick Off Dr. Turman's Program Inauguration
On Saturday, Dr. Jack Turman's Grassroots Maternal and Child Health Leaders Program inaugurated the first five women who have completed their initial training to be grassroots maternal and child health leaders (GMCHL) in zip codes at high risk for infant mortality. First Lady Janet Holcomb attended the inauguration, provided remarks, helped pass out certificates to the recipients, and spent time getting to know the women. "We are very grateful for the support of First Lady Holcomb and Dr. Jen Walthall,Secretary of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration," Dr. Turman said. "Mrs. Holcomb and Dr. Walthall were incredibly supportive and encouraging to the women, stressing the need for community based approaches to reduce infant mortality."
The GMCHL program aims to train and mentor leaders who are skilled in fostering social change that results in healthy birth outcomes. It believes addressing poor birth outcomes through the cultivation of GMCHL is crucial to creating and sustaining a culture of health and well-being for women, children and families. This initiative is a partnership of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, and the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health, with funding support from The Riley Children's Foundation.
During the inauguration, each woman read their story and showed their photos, greatly impacting the audience of over 50 people. The first photo (above) is of Nancy Swigonski, a professor of pediatrics and health policy and management, Dr. Turman, First Lady Janet Holcomb, and Deb Stiffler (associate professor of Nursing and midwife who works with the women on their Photovoice projects). In the photo below are Dr. Turman, First Lady Janet Holcomb, Naomi Levine (graduate student in Anthropology who teaches the ladies how to write and create their personal stories), Deb Stiffler, Ms. Vera Moore (one of the leaders from a participating zip code), Ashley Phillips (project manager for this work), and Heather Anderson (MPH-HPM student who teaches the ladies policy advocacy and development)