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In 2010 Tennessee Department Health listed Johnson County as leading the state in low birth weight. Low birth-weight is measured as newborns weighing less than five pounds, eight ounces at birth. This is of great concern because low birth weight is associated with many negative outcomes for infants. Some possible infant outcomes include death during infancy, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and health problems.
The Pregnancy Support Center of Johnson County (PSCJC) opened and started serving pregnant women in July of 2010. We quickly identified there was lack of accessible prenatal care in our county. Prenatal care is a key factor in preventing low birth weight. Johnson County is a rural economically deprived county. In addition to low educational and economic conditions pregnant women lack local prenatal care providers and transportation to those providers in distant counties. The PSCJC began educating our clients about the importance of prenatal care. In promoting prenatal care we developed various incentive programs to encourage the women of our center to make prenatal visits a priority. The PSCJC provides one-on-one mentoring with educational material regarding prenatal health, newborn and infant care for pregnant women and their partners. Educating women at our center has empowered them to make healthy choices for themselves and their babies.
The Board of Directors and volunteer staff at the PSCJS have worked hard to address the prenatal care concerns in our county. In 2007 the low-birth weight was 9.6%, in 2008 it was 9.9%, in 2009 it was 11%. In 2010 Johnson County was the highest in the State for low-birth weight at 15.1%. We are proud to announce that the 2011 Tennessee Department of Health low birth weight statistic for Johnson County has significantly dropped. Johnson County is now one of lowest in the state of Tennessee for low-birth weight only 5.4%! We believe the incentive programs, mentoring and support from center volunteers led to the clients adhering to early and on going care thus directly improving the low birth weight statistic for Johnson County. We have a vision of future programs, partnering with the medical community to continue to address the healthcare needs of pregnant women and their children. We welcome your support in addressing these vital issues that are so important to the future of our county. Together we can improve the healthcare of all women in Johnson County towards achieving a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.