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Wisconsin Partnership Program Names Advisor for Healthy Birth Outcomes Initiative

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Pregnant woman with daughterMADISON - Lorraine Lathen, a long-time Milwaukee health advocate, has been selected by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health's Oversight and Advisory Committee to be the senior advisor to the Wisconsin Partnership Program's effort to improve infant mortality rates in the cities of Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Beloit.

She will help direct the partnership's Healthy Birth Outcomes Initiative, which is taking aim at the unacceptably high rates of premature and low-birth weight babies born in some neighborhoods of these cities.

"This is a critical public health initiative for Wisconsin, and we are fortunate to have a true leader of Lorraine Lathen's ability and experience willing to take on this challenge,'' said former School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Dr. Philip Farrell, co-chair of the Healthy Birth Outcomes Initiative Steering Committee.

Lathen, who formerly served as vice president for education at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and as director of education and training at the Milwaukee Urban League, heads her own social-marketing firm, Jump at the Sun Consultants, LLC.
"I look forward to working with Wisconsin community leaders to help establish a life-course framework that looks at the total health of mothers, fathers and their communities,'' Lathen said.
Her experiences in child and maternal health include serving as a senior advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on women's health issues. She also lived and worked in West Africa on a USAID project working on issues ranging from teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS to infant mortality, and health disparities in birth, breast, and cervical-cancer outcomes. She was a delegate to the UN Conference on Women in Beijing, China, where she advocated for including women in HIV/AIDS research.
More recently, Lathen has worked on the issue of African-American infant mortality in Wisconsin as a social marketing consultant for ABCs for Healthy Families. The purpose of this program is to integrate the "life-course perspective" into a social marketing campaign to improve birth outcomes among African-American women in Wisconsin.
A native of Milwaukee, Lathen holds an advanced degree in international affairs from the American University in Washington, D.C.

Date Published: 07/02/2009

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