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1, 2, 3…. Hi Baby!, Inc. is the leading provider of high quality Prenatal and Family Health Case Management Services on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation working to reduce infant mortality of Indian People and ensure healthy pregnancies, healthy children and families by providing high quality individualized case management services. We are a federally recognized non-profit organization, certified by the State of South Dakota and licensed to do business on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation by the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, located in the southwest corner of South Dakota, is the second largest American Indian Reservation in the United States, and is made up of nine districts within the boundaries of three counties: Shannon, Bennett and Jackson. The Reservation’s population is estimated to be forty-thousand with over 60% of the children living in poverty (Children’s Defense Fund, 2002). The average income per family is between $2,600 and $3,500. Many families cannot access regular medical care due to vast distances, high cost of transportation, and lack of reliable transportation. Many houses have multiple families living in close quarters, and the behaviors of each member in the home have a direct impact on each life living there. Nearly forty percent of the homes on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation do not have electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. (Schwartz, 2006).
The infant mortality rate of the Pine Ridge Reservation is 300 times the national average. Early and continuous prenatal care is the most effective means of providing appropriate interventions and reducing adverse outcomes among pregnant women and their infants. However, American Indian women are especially at risk for health disparities related to pregnancy and prenatal health care. Indeed, in 2007 nearly 45% of infants delivered at the Pine Ridge Indian Health Service Hospital (Indian Health Service, 2007) were to women who received insufficient prenatal care. Because of underutilization of prenatal health care services, American Indian women and their infants face more health disparities as a result, including: an increase in the very low birth weight rate (VLBW), long-term disabilities, and higher rates of infant mortality (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002; Iyasu et al., 2002; Indian Health Service, 2005).