Pulaski Technical College will work to improve students' knowledge about the prevention of birth defects, premature births and infant mortality using a $10,000 community grant from the March of Dimes.
Over the next year, Pulaski Tech's Early Childhood Development program will spearhead an educational outreach program that will include workshops, a series of Lunch n' Learns and other educational activities. Books and educational materials on prenatal care, birth defects and other appropriate topics will be on exhibit in Ottenheimer Library and available to all students, faculty and staff.
"The overall goal of the program is to increase access to and quality of health care for women and infants," said Julie Williams, coordinator of Pulaski Technical College's Early Childhood Development program. "Many of our students are not educated on the best techniques for a successful pregnancy and are not aware of the importance of nutrition, exercise, folic acid and other current information. We want to change that and get them the information they need, so they can provide the best for their children."
Pulaski Tech expects to reach at least 500 women who are at risk due to previous past outcomes, chronic conditions and other risk factors.
Program participants will also learn about and receive assistance in registering for state and local maternal child health programs available to them, including Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as WIC.
The March of Dimes awarded the grant to the PTC Foundation.
"We are pleased to be partnering with the March of Dimes Arkansas Chapter," said Joyce Taylor, executive director of the Pulaski Technical College Foundation. "Pulaski Technical College is well-positioned to reach students who will benefit from this outreach. Ultimately, we want all of our students and their families to be healthy and have access to quality health care."