Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health Physician Recognized for Community Health Achievement

Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health Physician Recognized for Community Health Achievement

Infant Mortality Alliance (IMA) recently named Marjorie Makoni, M.D., the recipient of its 2022 Community Health Partner Award.

Makoni, a neonatal intensive care physician with Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health, was recognized for her exceptional contributions to community health, focused on long-term impact and sustainability. Makoni is also an assistant professor with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine on the OU Health Sciences Center campus, the academic partner of OU Health. This award honors the creative, innovative, and collaborative efforts of those who work without seeking recognition.

Trent E. Tipple, M.D., section chief of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in the department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, said, “We congratulate Dr. Makoni on this well-deserved recognition, and are proud to serve alongside her in mutual commitment to better outcomes for mothers and babies.”

In comments to Makoni included in the award notification, Rebecca Faulkner, M.D., chair of IMA Leading Ladies for Healthy Babies working group, said, “I have been deeply impressed with the impact that you are making in treating the most vulnerable infants as well as teaching about health disparities in order to create more aware and engaged physicians in our state. Your presence on the faculty of the OU College of Medicine creates space for students of color to see themselves reflected in positions of leadership, and the passion you bring to your practice sets a high standard for all your students and colleagues.”

Preterm birth is a key indicator for the risk of infant mortality, which is defined as death that occurs before an infant’s first birthday. In Oklahoma, there are 380 such deaths in an average year.

Tipple explained the strong connection between quality prenatal care and healthy birth outcomes, citing that about one in 10 babies is born prematurely in the United States each year.
“We know that mothers who receive late or no prenatal care during pregnancy are more likely to deliver babies with health problems. Preterm birth deprives babies of critical time to develop when every week counts. Low birth weight brings its own set of potentially dangerous health complications. When we can mitigate these conditions, we can influence community health for the better, with more positive outcomes that impact future generations.”

Founded in 2016, IMA includes nearly 500 community partners dedicated to reducing infant mortality, particularly in Oklahoma County’s African American community. Its vision is for healthy babies, born into a community that supports all facets of physical, mental and emotional growth.