Longview, TX — Gregg County ranks among the worst 3 percent of Texas’ 254 counties for infant mortality.
Between 2005 and 2008, Gregg County’s infant mortality rate was 7.4 per 1,000 live births, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The state average during that time was 6.8 per 1,000 live births, compared to a rate of 6.3 for the U.S.
“The reason we have a high number is we serve as a hub for the outlying areas,” County Health Department Executive Administrative Assistant Fred Killingsworth said, “and it’s like a magnet. They send them to us, and therefore, our numbers go up.”
In response, state officials have notified seven counties with the highest infant mortality rates of a two-year grant aimed at providing education and prenatal care for area mothers. Gregg County commissioners on Monday applied for the $200,000 grant.
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