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MEDIA ADVISORY – SATURDAY, October 20 Tucker, Speight, Timberlake to Host 1st Annual Essex County Prenatal-3 Summit to Highlight Issues, Disparities Impacting Children

Acting Governor Sheila Oliver Will Give Keynote Address

In an effort to promote awareness and prevention, expand knowledge, provide resources, and forge lasting relationships that will benefit the health, education and overall well-being of the prenatal to age three population, Assembly Democrats Cleopatra G. Tucker, Shanique Speight and Britnee N. Timberlake will host a free summit.

“Our goal is to highlight some of the disparities impacting the prenatal to age three children in our communities,” said Assemblywoman Tucker (D-Essex). “We don’t, however, just want to talk about disparities and issues, we want to offer parents and caregivers solutions, takeaways and action items.”

Acting Governor Sheila Oliver will give the keynote address at the summit that also will include a panel discussion, information from community based organizations, resource packets, vendors, and a complimentary lunch. NJIT is the host sponsor, and RWJBarnabas Health, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and UnitedHealthcare are also sponsors.

“I am very proud to participate in this inaugural event that spreads awareness and offers positive solutions for the issues facing caregivers, women and infants in New Jersey,” said Acting Governor Sheila Oliver, who also serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “These issues speak to the very heart of socioeconomic inequities that can be addressed to help prevent needless deaths and provide a brighter future for our children.”

“At a time when the president and some elected officials are trying to take away our healthcare, now more than ever is the time for us to ensure that residents have a voice in determining where healthcare in New Jersey will go,” said Assemblywoman Speight
(D-Essex). “This summit is just the beginning.”

“By their first birthday, black infants in America are twice as likely to die as white infants, and each year, nearly 700 to 900 maternal deaths occur in the U.S. alone,” said Assemblywoman Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic). “According to the CDC, black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest racial disparities in all of women’s health. In fact, a black woman in America is 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes than a white woman.”

“These statistics are alarming, and as the mother of an eight-month-old baby, I recognize the importance of maternal healthcare and how valuable it is to host this summit for parents across northern New Jersey, particularly in my home of Essex County,” she added.

“Our inaugural North Jersey Prenatal Summit will serve as a major resource for parents who have questions or face fears about childbirth and parenting as I once did,” Assemblywoman Timberlake continued. “This summit will be an intimate space to ask those questions and seek out answers from legislators, local and state child and healthcare providers, and numerous community partners. By hosting this summit, we hope to help mitigate these racial disparities and make a difference starting here in our own backyard.”

Assemblywomen Mila M. Jasey (D-Essex, Morris), Eliana Pintor-Marin (D-Essex), Angela V. McKnight (D-Hudson), Shavonda E. Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic); State Senators M. Teresa Ruiz and Nia H. Gill; Newark Municipal Council President Mildred Crump; and Newark Councilwoman LaMonica McIver are providing additional support for the summit.
The summit will be held 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the NJIT Campus Center Atrium, 150 Bleeker Street, Newark.