Tuesday, August 3, 2010
(CNN) -- When she was a public
health administrator for the state of California,
Kathryn Hall-Trujillo found that her greatest challenge was paying for babies
who were born sick.
"The figure we were working
with at that time was about $300,000 ... to stabilize a baby for the first 90
days," said Hall-Trujillo, who worked for the state from 1976-1991.
At the same time, she said, it cost
just $2,000 to ensure pregnant mothers received all the care they needed for a
healthy pregnancy and proper delivery.
The staggering disparity, along
with troubling rates of infant mortality in America, compelled Hall-Trujillo,
62, to find a solution.
What Hall-Trujillo came up with was
Birthing Project USA.
Since 1988, the nonprofit organization has been battling high infant-mortality
rates by pairing soon-to-be moms with volunteer "sister friends" who
provide guidance and support through the pregnancy and first year of the baby's
Of every 1,000 babies born in the United States,
at least six (6.14) do not survive their first year of life, according to the
CIA World Factbook. That gives the United States only the 45th best infant
mortality rate in the world, trailing top-ranked Monaco (1.78 deaths per
thousand births) and countries such as Japan (2.79) and the United Kingdom
Read more here.