Rebekah Carey

Students react to Bevan Baker’s visit

Written by Rebekah Carey on March 16th, 2012

On March 7, 2012, Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker captivated nursing student, as well as community audiences, bringing to light the Fetal Infant Mortality Report for Milwaukee. As he described the devastation of infant mortality racial disparities in Milwaukee, he also exhorted Christians to help reduce the stress of racism in our community. His compassionate demeanor and public testimony of Christian faith were inspiring and motivating. – Prof. Rebekah Carey

WLC Nursing students with Mr. Bevan Baker, Milwaukee Commissioner of Health

WLC Nursing students react to Baker’s visit:

When I first learned about the opportunity to listen to Bevan Baker, the Milwaukee Health Commissioner, regarding infant mortality, I expected to be lectured on facts. What I learned, however, was so much more than mere information. What struck me the most was the focus of Commissioner Baker’s life and work. He made it clear that only through Christian love and service, the devastation of Milwaukee’s infant mortality rates could be changed. His faith was shown throughout his presentation, and this not only gave me confidence in him, it also motivated me to make a difference and let my Christian light shine throughout my nursing career. - Kayla W., BSN class of 2013

It was a great privilege to have Dr. Baker come speak to us on Milwaukee’s number one health issue, infant mortality. He was so passionate about the topic and it was incredible to hear him give the statistics – there truly is a problem right here in our very own city! These infant mortality rates are nothing to be proud of here in Milwaukee and something needs to be done. As a future nurse it opened my eyes and heart even more to this issue. I would love to someday be a part of helping to find a solution, whether it is educating the community or educating my patient prior to discharge – I feel nurses can help play a big role. - Rachel B., BSN class of 2013

I am beyond impressed and motivated after hearing the Health Commissioner of Milwaukee, Bevan Baker, speak on Wednesday. Dr. Baker delivered a powerful speech to the students and faculty at Wisconsin Lutheran College on the devastating health disparity of infant mortality and racial and ethnic disparities in Milwaukee. In the past year there were 122 infant deaths and 67 stillbirths in Milwaukee. The overall infant mortality rate was 11.1 compared to the Wisconsin rate of 6.0. The Black infant mortality rate was 14.7, the White infant mortality rate was 5.9, and the Hispanic infant mortality rate was 8.8. These shocking statistics certainly create feelings of uneasiness and sadness. However, this motivated my classmates and me to have the social, ethical, and spiritual dedication to do something about this health disparity. Dr. Baker asked each one of us to help him to begin a new trend towards reducing infant mortality and reduced racial and ethnic disparities. I was truly amazed to hear Dr. Baker, a public health figure, boldly bring in a spiritual perspective on this distressing topic. - Leanna M., BSN class of 2013

The WLC nursing program recently had the opportunity to listen to a presentation about community health by the Milwaukee Commissioner of Health, Bevan Baker. The presentation was eye-opening in regards to the infant mortality rate here in Milwaukee. More importantly, however, the presentation was eye-opening in regards to community health. Community health is complex. Commissioner Baker effectively reminded the WLC community that it is part of the Milwaukee community and as such WLC has a great opportunity. WLC can be a light to other colleges and organizations in general by being directly involved in community health. WLC already has connections to the community through the Granville neighborhood health center where work is being done to help the underprivileged of the Milwaukee community. Commissioner Baker’s presentation was a refreshing reminder that each and every one of us is part of the Milwaukee community therefore it is our responsibility to work towards a more healthy community. - Dan M., BSN class of 2013

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