AMCHP Convenes State Teams to Reduce Infant Mortality through Focus on Health Equity
December 14, 2017

Federally funded collaboration will research and develop strategies to address social determinants of health

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) has launched a 13-state collaboration to reduce infant mortality by addressing social determinants of health (SDoH).

Under a three-year, $1.5 million cooperative agreement awarded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau, AMCHP will assemble a team of subject matter experts and work with state teams to address SDoH and produce findings that can be used by all states to achieve health equity and help reduce infant mortality.

The Infant Mortality CoIIN allows participating states to address the complex interplay of biological, social, and environmental factors involved in birth inequalities. The project has four goals, all of which build on the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (Infant Mortality CoIIN):

  • Facilitate coalition-building, engagement, and technical assistance to update and implement the Infant Mortality CoIIN to address SDoH.
  • Implement and promote community-based and/or research informed sharing networks to increase awareness about the impact of SDoH on infant mortality.
  • Facilitate translational research to inform policies, systems, and environmental change relating to SDoH.
  • Infuse health equity frameworks into provider training, service delivery and process improvement.

The participating states are Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The U.S. seeks to improve the infant mortality rate by 10 percent between 2006 and 2020.

“We cannot significantly reduce infant mortality in the United States without closing the health equity gap among different populations,” said Lori Freeman, CEO of AMCHP. “To close that gap we must address widespread differences in social determinants of health – that is, the economic and social conditions that influence the health of individuals and communities.”

Those conditions include housing safety and affordability, the quality of education, job security, social connections, wages and access to transportation, Freeman said.

The cooperative agreement with AMCHP was one of four issued by HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau to build on the IM CoIIN by addressing specific contributors to infant mortality.

For more information about SDoH, see AMCHP’s Life Course Indicators online tool and the National Institute for Children’s Health Equity’s summary of the IM CoIIN.

This project is supported by HRSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UF3MC31237-01-00 – Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) for $1,500,000. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.