One county in the east is getting a new tool to keep babies alive through their first two years of life.
Pitt County is the only county in eastern Carolina launching this new program with the Nurse-Family Partnership. It's geared towards low-income first time mothers.
While the infant death rate in Pitt County has decreased in the past decade, it's still higher than the state average. The program would partner nurses with an expectant mother to help reduce the numbers even more.
Dr. John Morrow, health director for Pitt County says, "We know once we identity these women who are pregnant we can have a huge impact on the outcome of that pregnancy as well as subsequent pregnancy, but that does not preclude us from doing the other things in terms of the first pregnancy." Morrow is referring to programs aimed at preventing pregnancy in young unwed mothers.
Morrow adds no county funds will support this program. It's funded through the Duke Endowment, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, along with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.