City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 090120-3
City of Long Beach to Receive $1 Million Grant for Development of a Black Infant Health Program Public Awareness Campaign
Gwendolyn Robinson Manning
Black Infant Health Program Coordinator
Long Beach Health and Human Services Department

Long Beach, CA - The City of Long Beach Health and Human Services Department has been awarded a $1,000,000 grant from the California Department of Public Health (CDHP) over two years for the coordination, development and implementation of a public awareness campaign centered on the Black Infant Health (BIH) Program.

“We’re grateful to receive this grant to support women and Black infants,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This funding will help increase maternal and infant health awareness in the Black community and ultimately save lives.”

Black babies in America die in their first year of life at more than twice the rate of babies from all other populations because they are born too soon and are too small. Likewise, more Black women die during pregnancy and childbirth than any other ethnic group. Evidence suggests that negative birth outcomes of Black women may be linked to chronic stress associated with social factors including racial discrimination.

Established in 1989, the Long Beach BIH Program supports 150 pregnant and postpartum women annually by promoting the importance of stress reduction, self-love, self-care, healthy eating, confidence building and increased social connections. The Long Beach BIH Program is one of 17 BIH programs across the state.

“It’s essential that Black mothers in our city and region know about the BIH Program to support them in healthy pregnancies and healthy births,” said Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy. “We are excited to develop a public awareness campaign to increase the knowledge and reach of this important program.”

Funding for the campaign will be used to:

  • Increase awareness of infant and maternal health inequities within Black populations.
  • Increase enrollment of Black pregnant women and mothers up to six months postpartum in the BIH Program.
  • Launch a pregnancy app to provide culturally tailored information for Black women across California.

The Long Beach BIH Program will collaborate with the Northern California grantee, Alameda County Public Health Department, to develop a statewide public awareness campaign focused on maternal and infant birth inequities in California. The campaign will include an app that will provide pregnancy education, gestational calendars, meditation and stress reduction strategies, as well as breastfeeding information specifically tailored to Black women. The campaign will span across all 17 BIH programs, including five Southern California counties: Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.

About the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
The mission of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is to improve quality of life by promoting a safe and healthy community in which to live, work and play. Long Beach Health is one of only three city-run health departments in California, which allows for better engagement with residents, neighborhoods, businesses and community partners, and fosters a greater understanding of the City's strengths. For more information, visit us at, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

About California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) works to protect the public's health in the Golden State and helps shape positive health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. The Department's programs and services, implemented in collaboration with local health departments and state, federal and private partners, touch the lives of every Californian and visitor to the state 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. CDPH public health professionals, researchers, scientists, doctors, nurses, and other staff­ members have a shared vision to protect and improve the health of all Californians. The essential functions of the Department are critical to the health and well being of people and communities. CDPH's fundamental responsibilities are comprehensive in scope and include infectious disease control and prevention, food safety, environmental health, laboratory services, patient safety, emergency preparedness, chronic disease prevention and health promotion, family health, health equity and vital records and statistics. For the latest resources and information, visit  

About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths and a Bike Share program.

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