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Town hall on infant mortality set for Feb. 28

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Staff report

Willie Hudspeth, Democratic candidate for Denton County Judge, is organizing a town hall meeting on black infant mortality and maternal morbidity rates in North Texas. 

A recent study published by researchers at the University of Texas found wide variations in mortality and morbidity rates in different Texas counties and ZIP codes. Among the findings, researchers noted that black mothers and infants suffer the highest death rates. 

Three speakers will be featured at the meeting, including Nikia Lawson, founder of The Natural Birthing Project; Talaun Simmons, a social work professor at the University of Texas at Arlington and executive director of the Muslim Community Center for Human Services, a primary care, mental health, and social services clinic; and Lindell Singleton, a documentary film producer and director. 

The event will include a screening of the film, The Gap, which explores the reasons for varying rates of infant mortality and maternal morbidity. 

"We must simplify the complexity of health care and improve access, as this is essential to mothers, children and families," Hudspeth said in a press release. "It's my belief that what happens to our mothers and children has a direct impact on our future. We need revolutionary ideas and approaches to create a different future."

Hudspeth and fellow Democratic candidate Diana Leggett are vying for the party's nomination for county judge in the March 6 primary. The winner will face Republican nominee Andy Eads in the November election. 

The town hall meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the city of Denton Police Training Center, 719 E. Hickory St.

FEFATURED PHOTO: Ten-month-old Jayden Ismael Guzman is pictured at a 2008 event in Fort Worth to bring awareness to infant mortality. File photo/The Dallas Morning News