City health officials have told Mayor Marion Barry that they can reduce the city's high infant motality rate with the expenditure of only $580,400.
The plan produced on Barry's orders by the Department of Human Resources calls for a major publicity and outreach campaign to attract pregnant women to city clinics and private physicians for prenatal care in an attempt to reduce the nation's highest infant death rate.
The plan also calls for filling vacant school nursing positions, linking city clinics and D.C. General Hospital by computer, improving health education in the city and providing in-home follow-up for mothers with high-risk infants. It will be reviewed and implemented by a committee of seven persons, headed by Dr. Frederick Green, associate director of Children's Hospital National Medical Center.
The other members of the committee whose appintments were announced last night by Barry, are Dr. Arthur Hoyt, associate dean for community affairs at Georgetown University Medical School; Harry Quintana, an architect who mayoral press secretary Florence Tate said is "actively involved in the Latino community;" Dr. Betty Catoe, a private pediatrician active in District health affairs; Robert Yancy, vice superintendent of D.C. schools; Dr. Allen Weingold, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at George Washington University Medical Center, and Dr. Paul Cornely, former chairman of the department of community medicine at Howard University Medical School and a past president of the American Public Health Association.
Green, who said the mayor had promised to consult him on the appointments to the committee, said it "should be very clear these choices were made without consultation. I had no chance to consult," although he said some of the members of the committee were colleagues and persons whose careers were familiar to him.
Told that Green said he had been promised a consultation, Tate said she was "sorry he wasn't consulted... he was asked to submit names like several other individuals."
Green said he feels the District's infant mortality rate should be lowered at least 10 percent within a year and in increasing increments in future years. "I'm not going to be satisfied to wait 10 years" for a real decline, he said.