Tag Archives: mortality

Memphis, Shelby Mayors Give Legislators a Wish List

Mayors A C Wharton and Mark Luttrell asked state lawmakers Monday to expand prekindergarten and infant mortality programs and to approve tax incentives for businesses helping their employees pay their own college tuition. The Commercial Appeal says they also hope to increase fines for illegal commercial-waste dumping.
The Memphis and Shelby County mayors joined other local government officials and mayors of the suburban cities in presenting their requests for state legislative action and funding to the Shelby County legislative delegation. The 2013 legislative session opens Jan. 8.
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald, who spoke on behalf of the suburban cities, said the cities will be “closely watching” school legislation but gave no indication to the state lawmakers whether they will pursue further legislative action on new municipal school districts.
McDonald told reporters after the meeting that suburban leaders are meeting with their attorneys this week to begin planning their next moves following the federal court ruling last week voiding the municipal school referendums and school board elections that had been authorized by the state legislature in May.
…Wharton said current law on the illegal dumping of waste in vacant lots “is a nightmare of enforcement. They get paid to tear down buildings and dump the material on abandoned lots. These are folks who, for commercial purposes, are ruining our neighborhoods.”
The mayors said the tax incentives for tuition are needed because when businesses consider locating or expanding here, their top need is a workforce qualified to handle today’s jobs.

UT Closes Infant Mortality Program With Audit Underway

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The University of Tennessee has halted programs in Memphis and Chattanooga aimed at reducing infant mortality rates amid an internal audit.
The Memphis program, called The Blues Project, was started seven years ago by the UT Health Science Center to address the city’s high death rate among infants. There are about 100 women and teenagers currently enrolled in the program, which has aided about 1,000 people to date, according to The Commercial Appeal.
It was expanded to Chattanooga, which also has a high infant mortality rate, last year with a $1.7 million grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation.
Kimberly Lamar directs the Memphis program and says she didn’t know about its suspension until a health clinic called her Monday. Pregnant teens and women continued showing up at local health clinics Monday, but were turned away.
“If they cared about these women, they wouldn’t have just terminated services immediately,” Lamar said. “What about these moms? What about these babies?
“Some of these women have domestic-violence issues,” Lamar added. “They depend on my staff.”
UT Health Science Center spokeswoman Sheila Champlin confirmed the program suspension, calling it regrettable but unavoidable.
“It’s really to preserve the scientific integrity of the study and to answer questions about the execution of the study,” Champlin said.
The program provided education, counseling and support to pregnant teens, mothers and fathers. It helped expectant mothers reduce stress, access prenatal care and become independent.
The program also referred women to other community resources for problems such as domestic violence and depression. Its workers followed mothers from pregnancy until children reached age 2.