Indiana ranks 43rdfor 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.
Equipping grassroots leaders to be health and social change agents is the first critical step in creating and sustaining a community culture that promotes individual, family and neighborhood health. We train and mentor 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.Read More