New CoIIN Teams Meet on Reducing Infant Mortality through Health Equity
April 11, 2018

AMCHP hosts leaders from 13 states in federally funded Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to address social determinants of health

By Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, PhD, MPH, MCHES
Associate Director, Women’s and Infant Health
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs

AMCHP was pleased to recently host the first in-person meeting of the new Infant Mortality CoIIN – Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) project, where health leaders from 13 states learned more about the project and about how they can build on the work of a previous one, the SDOH Learning Network.

AMCHP was one of four organizations awarded funding to continue the CoIIN (Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Networks) work initiated by Dr. Michael Lu during his tenure as associate administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) within the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

The overarching goal of the project is to create “systems change through developing, adopting, or improving at least two policies or practices at the state or local level which will directly impact SDOH affecting women and men of childbearing age.”

At least one representative from each state team attended the meeting in Crystal City, Va., Feb. 13-14, along with several steering committee members, including Alethia Carr, Kay Johnson, Deborah Frazier, Camie Goldhammer, and Denise Pecha of City MatCH. MCHB observers attended to learn more about the project and witness public health in action.

One highlight was Carr and Johnson sharing what happened during the last SDOH Learning Network under their leadership. A new brief report is available summarizing state innovations and lessons learned from the 2015-2017 Social Determinants of Health Learning Network that was part of the national phase of the Infant Mortality CoIIN. The aim of the SDOH Learning Network was to build state capacity and test innovative strategies for shifting the impact of SDOH and ensuring equity in birth outcomes. Twenty-one states voluntarily participated in the network from 2015 and 2017. Learn more about their approaches and recommended promising strategies here.

The project also benefited from presentations from Meghan Woo of Abt Associates, the data contractor for the project, and from Lou Anne Stout, a senior improvement advisor from Population Health Improvement Partners.

AMCHP is the backbone organization for the SDOH project, while IM CoIIN project officer Vanessa Lee remains the project officer for this work and has been instrumental in moving CoIIN work forward. The participating states are Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.