Black Infant Mortality in New Jersey:
Past, Present and Future
Date & Time:

Friday, June 2, 2017
7:30 AM to 3:30 PM EDT

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Robert Treat Hotel
50 Park Place
Meeting Room: New York/New Jersey
Newark, NJ 07102

Driving Directions

Parking Information:
Parking will be available in the Military Park Garage at 42-50 Park Place, Newark NJ. Parking is complimentary if you present your parking voucher at the registration desk for validation.

This location is handicap accessible. Please let us know if you will need ADA accommodations when you register or call Evelin Urcuyo.

The Planning Committee, presenters, faculty, authors, and content reviewers have no conflicts of interest to disclose. Disclosure forms are required, and they are reviewed for any issues. Speakers are required to present balanced and unbiased presentations. The presentation content has been reviewed, and any bias has been eliminated.

Successful Completion

To receive CME, contact hours or continuing education credits for this continuing education program, the registrant must sign in on the attendance sheet, attend the entire program, complete and submit a program evaluation. CME certificates will be mailed. All other certificates will be distributed at the conference upon receipt of the evaluation form. Social workers must provide their license numbers, and CHES must provide CHES ID number at registration.

From time to time, the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern NJ uses photographs of conference events in its promotional materials. Unless this permission is revoked in writing to the Partnership, by virtue of their attendance, all conference visitors agree to the use of their likeness in such materials.

Although registration fees are non-refundable, they are transferable. Please contact Evelin Urcuyo at or 973-268-2280 x 167, no later than a week prior to the event, to transfer a registration.

Grievance Policy:
Any attendee with a complaint or grievance should contact Evelin Urcuyo via email. Once received, the complaint will be acknowledged. It will then be reviewed and discussed by Partnership staff consisting of the Executive Director, Ilise Zimmerman and the Director of Education, Amy Gole, in a timely manner. A satisfactory solution will then be offered to the participant in writing. The attendee may register complaints with the approval entity with an option to appeal to the Board if displeased with the results of the process described above. To file a grievance, please contact Evelin Urcuyo at

Should you have any questions, please contact Amy Gole at or 973-268-2280 x 100. The Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern NJ reserves the right to modify program content, faculty and program activities. It also reserves the right to cancel the activity if necessary. If the activity is cancelled, liability is limited to the registration fee.

This program is generously supported
by funding from:



Clara Maass Medical Center, Jersey City Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Saint Barnabas Medical Center

About the Event

While there has been a national decline in Black non-Hispanic infant mortality over the past decade, racial disparity remains evident. For 2014, the most recent year with finalized national data, the Black non-Hispanic infant mortality rate was 10.93 per 1000 live births, in contrast to 4.89 for White non-Hispanic infants. And, even in states in which declining infant mortality falls below national rates, there are communities that run counter to such improvement. Thus, while New Jersey's Black non-Hispanic infant mortality rate declined to 8.89 in 2014, the rates for Camden and Essex counties rose to 12.15 and 10.32, respectively. There is an urgent need to translate epidemiological data and scientific knowledge into clinical and public health practices.

This conference will focus on the disturbing disparity between Black infant deaths and those of other races. Among the major risk factors for Black infant death are parental stress, tobacco use, reduced access to care, prematurity, low birth weight, poverty, and lower compliance with safe sleep recommendations. Our faculty will address social and clinical contributors to Black infant mortality, with the expectation that attendees will participate in the formulation of practical initiatives that will translate research into evidence-based practice.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:
  • Discuss the epidemiological and environmental risk factors associated with Black infant mortality and racial disparity in national, state and local data.
  • Apply new, evidence-based initiatives into practice to address risk reduction for the leading cause of Black infant mortality through the promotion of health equity and the implementation of interventions at individual, family, and community levels.
Target Audience
Healthcare professionals, community and government stakeholders, and healthcare systems and industry representatives working in or having an interest in perinatal health, education and support.

Continuing Education Credits/Contact Hours
For information regarding continuing education credits for Physicians, Nurses, Social Workers, Certified Health Education Specialists and Public Health, please click here

When registering for the conference, a home email address is preferred as emails with attachments are not always permitted through hospital filters.

Program Agenda
For Description of Presentations...CLICK HERE
7:30 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast (to be provided)
8:00 AM Welcome
Rochelle Evans, MS, RN
Board Member
Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern NJ

Thomas Hegyi, MD
Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program
Professor & Vice-Chairman, Department of Pediatrics
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Medical Director, SIDS Center of New Jersey

Ilise Zimmerman, MS, MPH
Executive Director
Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern NJ
8:10 AM Welcome to the City of Newark
The Honorable Ras Baraka, MA
Mayor, City of Newark 
8:15 AM Social Determinants of Black Infant Mortality
Denise Rodgers, MD, FAAFP
Vice Chancellor for Interprofessional Programs
Director, Rutgers Urban Health and Wellness Institute
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Services
Professor of Community Medicine and Family Health
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School 
9:00 AM Measuring Racial Disparity and Inequities:
Informing Future Directions

Barbara M. Ostfeld, PhD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Program Director, SIDS Center of New Jersey 
9:45 AM The Role of Prematurity in Infant Mortality
Onajovwe Fofah, MD
Vice Chair of Clinical Enterprise, Department of Pediatrics
Director, Division of Neonatology
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 
10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM The Impact of Stress on Black Infant Mortality
Tyan Parker Dominguez, PhD, MPH, MSW
Clinical Associate Professor
Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
University of Southern California 
11:30 AM Substance Use and Infant Mortality
Ronald J. Librizzi, DO
Virtua Chief, Maternal Fetal Medicine and Medical Director
Virtua Medical Group 
12:15 PM Questions and Answers - Panel Discussion
Moderator: Morris Cohen, MD
Director, Neonatal Medicine
Co-Director, Regional Perinatal Center, Quality & Safety Officer
Children's Hospital of New Jersey
12:45 PM Lunch (to be provided)

New Jersey's Initiatives to
Reduce Black Infant Mortality

Assistant Commissioner Lisa Asare, MPH
Family Health Services, New Jersey Department of Health

Commissioner Allison Blake, PhD, LSW
New Jersey Department of Children and Families 
1:30 PM Community Engagement: Opportunities for Addressing Infant Mortality and Health Disparities
Ndidiamaka Amutah, PhD, MPH, CHES
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health
Montclair State University 
2:15 PM Breakout Sessions

Access to Care
Damali Campbell Oparaji, MD
Assistant Professor, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Attending Physician, University Hospital
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health

Engagement of Fathers
Kendell Sprott, MD, JD
Chief Executive Officer
Matheny Medical and Educational Center

Faith-based Community Action
Reverend Phillip Gilmore, MBA, MPS
Senior Pastor, Saint John's Community Baptist Church

James Oleske, MD, MPH
Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Endowed Chair
Professor of Pediatrics
Division Director of Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Patricia Whitley-Williams, MD
Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Legislative Challenges 
Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, MS
Assistant County Administrator, Essex County
Speaker Emeritus, Assemblywoman, New Jersey General Assembly 
3:00 PM Shared Insights
Yvonne Wesley, RN, PhD, FAAN
Independent Health Consultant

Ilise Zimmerman, MS, MPH
Executive Director
Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern NJ
3:30 PM Closing Remarks
Thomas Hegyi, MD