Ready for Some Good News? AMCHP Hails Record Improvement in Reducing Infant Mortality
March 27, 2017

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) is encouraged by yesterday’s announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that in 2014, infant mortality rates for the United States reached new lows for almost all groups including Hispanic, non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Asian or Pacific Islander populations.

The report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics also shows that over the past decade the overall infant mortality rate in the United States has consistently improved, declining 15 percent from 6.86 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 5.82 in 2014.

“This is a public health success story truly worthy of celebration,” said AMCHP President Michael D. Warren, MD, MPH, FAAP.

“Several years ago, state leaders and local partners came together with federal partners in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and across HHS to re-examine and re-commit to quality improvement strategies that will move the needle on this sentinel measure,” Warren said. “We are proud of the results to date, and yet know that our work to further reduce unacceptable disparities among racial and ethnic groups has to accelerate.”

AMCHP Chief Executive Officer Lori Freeman added, “These results show what can happen when we combine evidence-based strategies and innovation, and work to improve both clinical and community-based approaches to systems improvement.”

“While inspired by this news, we know that we must remain focused on our efforts to continuously improve the health of women, children, and families,” Freeman said. “Potential reductions to HHS programs in the range of 18 percent threaten our forward progress and the ability of states to implement locally-designed solutions to address vexing public health challenges like infant mortality. As Congress considers health reform and budgets in the coming weeks, we urge elected officials to continue to look for opportunities to accelerate this progress with a particular focus on programs serving vulnerable populations.”