Mayor Tom Barrett and Ascension Wisconsin recently celebrated the 10th Annual Strong Baby Sabbath with faith leaders. The group of more than 100 met for an informative discussion on infant mortality. They also honored the 36 churches participating in the Ascension Wisconsin Blanket of Love Sanctuaries in advance of the Strong Baby Sabbath on Sunday, October 25, 2020.
Approximately 100 babies born in Milwaukee each year, do not make it to their first birthday. This is a complex problem related to poverty, race and health disparities that will take a community-wide effort to address.
Ascension Wisconsin Blanket of Love Sanctuaries are places where expectant mothers and their families participate in an educational program to help reduce infant mortality and promote family wellness with a focus on the most preventable causes of infant death in Milwaukee — premature births and unsafe sleeping environments. The program was created by Ascension Wisconsin parish nurse, Julia Means.
Means’ work with Ascension Wisconsin Blanket of Love Sanctuaries, Urban Church Wellness, the Be of Good Heart program and the Ascension Ebenezer Health Resource Center were among the many reasons Mayor Barrett proclaimed Oct. 22, 2020 “Julia Means Day” in the City of Milwaukee.
“Julia Means is known by all who have been in her presence as a selfless, kind and generous individual who has earned her the enduring praise, respect and gratitude of her colleagues for her dedication to public service and commitment to the Milwaukee community,” Barrett said.
“The combination of Julia’s unwavering positive attitude, her commitment to serving her community for more than 30 years, and her dedication to living Ascension’s mission to serve all people, especially those who are most vulnerable, makes her special,” Nichole Gladney, Ascension Wisconsin Community Services director, said. “We are so proud her efforts were celebrated and honored today.”
The Strong Baby Sabbath began Sunday, Oct. 25 and faith leaders are committed to sharing the disturbing infant mortality statistics with their congregation members and providing information on how our community can come together to help more infants celebrate their first birthdays.
About Ascension Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, Ascension operates 24 hospital campuses, more than 100 related healthcare facilities and employs more than 1,300 primary and specialty care clinicians from Racine to Eagle River. Serving Wisconsin since 1848, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., operating 2,600 sites of care – including 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.ascension.org.