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Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, CNN Hero, Founds 'Birthing Project USA' To Reduce Infant Mortality

First Posted: 07/23/10 07:12 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 06:10 PM ET

Baby

Kathryn Hall-Trujillo worked for the state of California from 1976 to 1991 as a public health administrator, and during that time, noticed that families often struggled to pay for the care of infants born with serious health problems. When she realized that pregnancy care for expectant mothers would cost less than 0.01 percent of the funds used to stabilize a sick infant, she created Birthing Project USA -- a nonprofit organization that pairs moms-to-be with volunteers who provide guidance and support throughout the pregnancy and first year of the baby's life.

Birthing Project USA works primarily with African-American women, whose babies are statistically more than twice as likely to die in their first year than Caucasian babies. The organization's volunteers are known as "sister friends," who make sure their "little sisters" attend their prenatal appointments and help them budget their personal finances.

For her dedication to helping fight infant mortality rates, Hall-Trujillo was honored as a CNN Hero.

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Filed by Erica Liepmann  |