Dr. Kathryn Cardarelli and President Scott Ransom, as well as several mothers and babies, were on hand to launch the Aintie Tia Project last month.
From left, Dr. Kathryn Cardarelli, director of the Center for Community Health, Dr. Tim Bray, director of the J. McDonald Williams Institute, and Marcia Page, president and CEO of the Foundation for Community Empowerment, announced the formation of the Center for Community Health at a reception in the Lewis Library’s Rare Books Room on Sept. 26.
Alum leads new community health initiatives
The UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, in a unique partnership with the J. McDonald Williams Institute of Dallas, has established the Center for Community Health. Under the direction of Dr. Kathryn Cardarelli, a 1999 School of Public Health graduate, the Center’s goals are to establish and enhance community relationships and collaborations, conduct policy-relevant research, enhance community capacity for prevention and improve the health of vulnerable populations. The Center’s first project will focus on supporting single mothers in the neighborhoods around Dallas’ Fair Park. Dr. Cardarelli has also introduced the Aintie Tia Project, a partnership with the Fort Worth/Dallas Birthing Project, to combat infant mortality in Tarrant County, where the infant mortality rate is the highest in Texas.
The Antie Tia Project brings women together to train them in prenatal education, labor support, infant and child care education, breastfeeding support/education and emotional support to be a resource for pregnant young women in a community. Research through the project will help determine whether or not social community-based support improves births in African American women.
Aintie Tia is a term coined from the African American reference to “Aintie” and the Spanish word for aunt to mean a woman in the community who helps lead, support and develop young people.