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Healthy Baby Network, Fidelis Care, and Monroe County Present the First Annual Black Maternal Health Walkathon

April 4, 2024
Walking for Wellness Helps Ensure Safe Pregnancies and Healthy Babies in Rochester

ROCHESTER, NY [April 1, 2024] – Healthy Baby Network, a 28-year old non-profit dedicated to assisting pregnant women, fathers, and families, Fidelis Care, a statewide health plan with more than 2.5 million members in New York State, and Monroe County will create a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere where families can come together to exercise and learn about resources and have fun as they walk for wellness at Genesee Valley Park on Saturday, April 13.
Participants will learn the sobering statistics along the walk which include:

  • In the Finger Lakes Region, the maternal mortality rate is a staggering 60% higher than the New York State average
  • More than 84 percent of maternal deaths are preventable
  • Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women
  • Our Community Based Doula program achieved a noteworthy reduction in preterm birth rates, with only 5.3% of births resulting in preterm deliveries—approximately 50% lower than county and regional rates.
  • Our Community Based Doula program has a 94% Breast/Chestfeeding initiation rate

Reporters are encouraged to cover the event:

  • What: First Annual Walkathon during Black Maternal Health Week
  • When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 13
  • Where: Genesee Valley Park – Roundhouse Shelter
  • Who:
    • Malik Evans, Rochester Mayor
    • Fidelis Care Representative
    • Josie McClary, Monroe County, Chief Community Engagement Officer
    • Sherita Bullock, Healthy Baby Network, Executive Director
    • Jasmine Brewer, Healthy Baby Network, Doula Program Manager

About Healthy Baby Network
Healthy Baby Network in Rochester ensures that every parent in the community has the information and support needed to bring a healthy baby into a nurturing home. The organization provides pregnancy-related education, support, and partnership that vulnerable parents in our community need to pursue and achieve optimal health for themselves and their babies. For more information visit

About Fidelis Care
Fidelis Care is a mission-driven health plan offering quality, affordable coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life. With more than 2.5 million members statewide, Fidelis Care believes that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance. For more information, call Fidelis Care at 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit

About Monroe County
Monroe County, under the leadership of County Executive Adam Bello, is focused on four pillars to build an equitable and sustainable future for its residents – Public Health, Public Safety, Economic and Workforce Development and Infrastructure. In 2021, Monroe County awarded Healthy Baby Network American Rescue Plan Act funding for their Doula program that supports mothers and helps prevent Black maternal and infant mortality.


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