Infant Mortality in Indiana

Indiana ranks 43rd for its infant mortality rate (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Over the past 5 years in Indiana, an average of 596 babies have died annually, approximately one baby every 14 hours (Indiana State Department of Health, 2017). Twenty-nine of Indiana’s 988 (2.9%) zip codes account for 27% of Indiana’s infant deaths. Major contributors to the persistence of poor birth outcomes in Indiana’s high risk zip codes are racial/ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic disparities in birth outcomes. Clinical interventions alone cannot reduce these disparities because birth outcomes, like overall health, are the product of one’s environment, opportunities, and experiences.

The Grassroots Maternal and Child Health Leadership Training Project, directed by Professor Jack Turman, seeks to address this by equipping grassroots leaders to be health and social change agents--a first critical step in creating and sustaining a community culture that promotes individual, family and neighborhood health. The project trains and mentors grassroots maternal and child health leaders (GMCHL) in Indiana zip codes at high risk for infant mortality to help build the capacity of these neighborhoods to foster improved pregnancy and infant development outcomes.

As part of this work, the project team designed and installed an exhibition on infant mortality at the Indiana State House (8-12 April 2019). Below is the project brochure and the Tableau visualization that accompanied the exhibition.

For more information on the project, contact Jack Turman at