Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R, C, Ref-Mahopac) met with the Star Legacy Foundation, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Putnam District Attorney Bob Tendy and members of the Putnam County Legislature at the Putnam County Historic Courthouse in Carmel, NY on Wednesday to deliver a legislative resolution memorializing Oct.15, 2020 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in New York. Elaina Vietz, legislative chair of the Star Legacy Foundation, was on hand to receive the resolution. The Star Legacy Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing pregnancy loss and neonatal death and improving care for families who experience such tragedies.
“I would like to thank Elaine Vietz and her organization for the outstanding work they do for grieving mothers and families across our state,” said Byrne. “There is a tremendous emotional and spiritual toll for families who undergo the heart-breaking loss of a baby through incidents such as stillbirth, miscarriage and SIDS. That is in addition to the financial loss through added expenses for autopsy, burial, counseling services and time off from work. Sadly, over 26,000 babies are stillborn every year in the United States. This averages out to about 70 babies every day.”
Byrne highlighted that “there is also a startling racial disparity when it comes to stillbirth which must be addressed in our state.” In 2017, the scorecard provided by the Star Legacy Foundation noted that in New York, the stillbirth rate per 1,000 live births (2007-2017) was 12.6 percent Black/African American, 6.6 percent Hispanic, 6.1 percent Native American/Alaska Native, 5.4 percent White and 4.5 percent Asian/Pacific Islander.
Byrne thanked Odell and her team for lighting up the Putnam Historic Courthouse in pink and blue the same evening to further raise awareness and said that “this day is to help recognize, support and raise awareness for the thousands of grieving families affected by this terrible loss.”
“Putnam County is very proud of all the work that Assemblyman Byrne has done,” said Odell. “We thank him for his work in bringing us together for this very important day of remembrance.”
“Thank you, Assemblyman Byrne and all the legislators who unanimously voted for this resolution,” said Vietz. “It means so very much to the thousands of families across New York state who are missing their babies today and always.”
Putnam County Legislators who were at the resolution presentation included Neil Sullivan, who represents District 9, and Amy Sayegh, who represents District 8. Putnam County’s District Attorney Bob Tendy was also in attendance.
Read a copy of the entire resolution here.