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Circle of Wise Women
Circle of Wise Women The Circle of Wise Women is a group of community women committed to acting together to reduce the number of African American babies that die before they celebrate their first birthdays.

The mission of the Circle of Wise Women is to:
Improve infant wellness and survival through education and prevention.
 
 
Infant mortality has long been known to be the best single measure of the health of a population, group or community. This is measured as the rate of babies who die before their first birthday per 1,000 live births. Women who have access to and begin prenatal care in their first trimester of pregnancy can improve their chances for having a healthy baby. With prenatal care, potential pregnancy and delivery problems are found early and treated as soon as possible.

In Kane County there is a disparity in the infant mortality rate when compared by race/ethnicity. The rate is two times higher for African-Americans than for Hispanic and White residents. Looking at the current trend, which is improving, it will still take another two generations to close the gap in rates.  However, by implementing various strategies, like increasing the number of African-American women who enter prenatal care in the first trimester, that gap can be closed by 2030.

The 2012 Kane County Community Health Assessment Survey included data from the Kane County Health Department, the five Kane County Hospitals, the Federally Qualified Health Centers, focus groups and other data that again indicated that African-American infant mortality rates are still high and need to continue to be addressed.

Among the specific issues affecting African American health and survival are low birth weight, preterm labor (before 37 weeks), prematurity, small size for gestational age, infection, stress, and poor prenatal weight gain. Higher rates of infant mortality persist across all ages, income levels, and educational levels of African American women.
 
Actions?
The Circles of Wise Women took the time to study the data and the issues that surround infant mortality and illness. They also spent time reviewing actions other communities have taken to improve health and wellness for African American infants. Now the Circles are taking action that helps other women learn about the issue and take whatever preventive measures are possible. The very first action of the Circles was a poster campaign to help prevent premature births—the leading cause of infant deaths.

The largest events of the Circles are our Community Baby Showers held twice a year in Aurora and once a year in Carpentersville and Elgin. We also make presentations to our communities on topics such as the 3 P’s, Preconception Health (your health status before pregnancy), Prenatal Care and Postnatal Care, Prematurity, Breastfeeding, Safe Sleep, Infant Development/Tummy Time, Family Health History, Healthy Cooking, Eating and Snacks. We welcome any opportunities to share this information with you and your group, Church, workplace or neighborhood. 
 
Materials

Aurora Circle of Wise Women Brochure
Elgin Circle of Wise Women Brochure
Prematurity Prevention Poster

For additional information about the
Circle of Wise Women, contact the
Kane County Health Department
at (630)444-3084
 
 
 
 
There are two circles in Kane County: the Aurora Circle of Wise Women and the Elgin Circle of Wise Women.

They meet monthly.
Aurora Circle of Wise Women meets the third Monday of the month
2-3:30 PM
at Kane County Health Department
1240 N. Highland Avenue, Suite 15
Aurora   60506

Elgin Circle of Wise Women meets
the third Tuesday of the month,
1:30-3:00 PM
at Grand Victoria Foundation Office
50A S. Grove Avenue
Elgin 60120
 
The Circles of Wise Women are open to any woman who wants to help end the disparities in health and survival for African American women and infants. Fathers/Dads and any other caretaker of the infant up to one year old is welcome.

The Circles call on other community partners to assist them in carrying out plans that are tailored to meet the needs of African American women of childbearing age.
 
 
Our events and presentations are free to the community.
 
 
 
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