Child-health Advocate Named to Prestigious U.S. Health Committee

February 22, 2000

Elizabeth McAnarney, pediatrician-in-chief of Children's Hospital at Strong, has been appointed to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration's Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality.

Donna Shalala, the nation's secretary of health and human services, appointed McAnarney to the four-year post. McAnarney, of Brighton, also serves as chair of the department of pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality will advise Shalala about programs directed at reducing infant mortality and improving the health of pregnant women and infants. Members will provide advice on how best to coordinate private, federal, state, and local programs designed to deal with health and social problems that affect infant mortality.

In her role, McAnarney will share her advice and opinions about factors affecting the continuum of care as it concerns maternal and child health care. They include outcomes following childbirth; factors determining the length of hospital stay after childbirth; and the manner in which post-natal care has changed over time, and how it has been adapted to changes in length of hospital stay.

The committee will prepare and submit a report that outlines the best practices used to care for pregnant women and their newborns, recommendations for improvement in pre- and post-natal care, and delivery and follow-up care.

"Infant mortality, in this most wealthy country, remains a major challenge," McAnarney says. "The development of effective strategies to prevent low birth weight and subsequent neonatal or infant mortality must be our highest priority at the local and national levels."

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