Health & Exercise

Combating Infant Mortality

“Food is medicine. We must get back to the Earth,” said Kelley Marvin who has been a nutritionist for 15 years. Marvin has partnered with Ink Spot Publisher and Dream Center Visionary, John Dortch, to help eradicate infant mortality in the Summit City.

According to the Washington Post, infant mortality is defined as death during the first year of life, and 66 percent of those deaths, for all races, occur in the neonatal period (first 28 days of life), with 14 % within the first hour and another 26 % within one to 23 hours. (Russell, 1-13-2021)

The Infant Mortality Rate in Fort Wayne is currently 15.2% amongst African Americans in comparison to the United States rate of 5.4%. The state of Indiana’s rate is 6.6% and 6.9% in Allen County. The rate for the 46806 zip code is 11.4%. These startling statistics indicate a pressing need in the Southeast Quadrant of the Summit City which is where the Dream Center is located. The Southeast is home to only 19%) of the city’s population yet is 41% of the city’s residents living in poverty. To this end, the median household income is $28,972 in comparison to $55,608 in the Southwest, followed by $54,909 in the Northeast and $53,736 in the Northwest.

The Dream Center has partnered with the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and Parkview Health to provide free screenings, information and services to the residents living in the apartment complex adjacent to the Center. During 2023, the RMCM traveled to 11 sites within the target demographic.

A Complete Guide to Nutrition & Fertility is a resource to help support men and women in the process of eliminating the various health disparities that plague African Americans. The resource is divided into four sections: Weight, Macronutrients, Micronutrients; Blood Sugar & Fiber; Detoxification and Lifestyle & Supplements.

The Guide also recommends five supplements to fuel your fertility:

Folic Acid- Recommended that women take up 400-800 mcg daily. The B Vitamin is important for fetal development and can reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
Iron- Daily intake of iron for women of childbearing age is 18 mg.

Vitamin D- Important for bone health, immune function and fertility. Recommended daily intake is 600-800 IU (international units).

Coenzyme-10- Recommended dose of 100-300 mg daily. Important for energy production in cells and has been shown to improve egg quality and sperm motility.

Omega-3- Important for fetal development and can reduce the risk of preterm birth and postpartum depression. May also improve sperm quality and motility. Recommended daily intake is 200-300 mg of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) 

Marvin also wrote a book, Food Runs Deep, Finding Meaning and Nourishment in Delicious Food. This is another source of recipes designed to help you lead a healthier lifestyle by adjusting your diet. The recipes and food suggestions are divided by the various health issues that we deal with daily. For example: cancer, depression, heart disease, common cold, pregnancy, and more.

Dortch stated, “I am proud of the work that has been done with the Ronold McDonald Mobile Care as well as a Community Expo that saw 200 and a Knockout Diabetes event that served 100 people. We are grateful for the collaboration with Parkview Health and the Allen County Health Department. Kelley is a walking miracle having survived breast cancer.”

Marvin encourages one to, “listen to your body’s whispers and roars in the process of creating balance to your health instead of solely relying on pharmaceutical solutions.”

If you are interested in learning more about the local war on infant mortality or other healthy lifestyle programming please contact Kelley Marvin,; or John Dortch, You can also visit the following website:

This column is sponsored by The Fort Wayne Ink Spot, a black-owned Indiana newspaper focusing on regional and national stories, especially those impacting African Americans and minorities. This collaboration with The Waynedale News aims to give representation to all residents’ voices. Follow FWIS on Facebook and Instagram, or find a retailer at

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FWIS is a black-owned, Indiana based newspaper that discusses regional and national stories that highlight individuals in the community as well as topics that affect African Americans (and other minority groups). > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer