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Social Work Program Helps Achieve Record Low in Infant Deaths

Shania Kerina was pregnant — and homeless — when at least once a week, she received a call from Angelise Shelby, MSW, LGSW, a social worker with B’more for Healthy Babies (BHB), the outreach program operated by the University of Maryland School of Social Work's (UMSSW) Promise Heights initiative.

“I was house to house. I was in and out the hospital from stress. I was bleeding a lot,” Kerina said. “I was so stressed that I just would ignore her call.”

At the time, Kerina knew little about BHB, how the staff conducts aggressive outreach using door-to-door, word of mouth, and other methods to build family and community trust and increase community awareness of their pre- and post-natal supportive services. She didn’t know BHB would be credited for achieving a record-low infant mortality rate for Black infants in her neighborhood of Upton/Druid Heights.



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