Local group fighting infant mortality in Milwaukee loses big Federal grant

MILWAUKEE -- Leaders at the Black Health Coalition at 30th & Vliet in Milwaukee are shocked.  The program it runs to fight infant mortality could be in big trouble. A federal grant the Black Health Coalition was supposed to receive was taken away.

The loss of this grant is hundreds of thousands of dollars.  It was supposed to be $900,000, was reduced to $750,000, but now it's zero. 

Not only that, it could lose 10 employees because of it.  For now the organization might have to make people go part-time or ask them to volunteer their time to continue to give services. The program is Milwaukee Healthy Beginnings Project. It provides case management help, advice for mothers with infants, and tries to lower the infant mortality rate in Milwaukee.

Dr. Patricia McManus says it's a shock to the coalition. She says the department of health and human services violated the agreement. She says they'll keep working as long as they can even without getting paid.

\"We provide services to clients that nobody else does,\" Black Health Coalition President Dr. Patricia McManus. \"We take the clients that nobody else wants out of the jails. People who maybe don't get the prenatal care like they should. People who have children in child welfare. We are going to figure out how to keep them anyway.\"

The grant comes from the Department of Health and Human Services.  Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is also working with the coalition to push for the funding since they believe this was done in violation of a written agreement. 

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