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Taking Care of You

 

Taking Care of You: Infant Mortality Initiative

In 2013, Healthcare Georgia Foundation launched the Taking Care of You infant mortality initiative among high disparity populations to achieve measurable reductions in adverse birth outcomes, including but not limited to: low-birth weight, prematurity, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. This initiative builds upon a previous demonstration program supporting promising approaches to improved infant health. This initiative reflects a commitment to achieving health equity through targeted community interventions addressing population health disparities.

 

                                                               Rationale
The number of infant deaths in a community is one of the best indicators of the community’s health status. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births. High infant mortality and per¬sistent racial disparities in birth outcomes have been highlighted for decades. 
Significant improvements have come about via advancing medical science, effective policies, technology and public health. However, Georgia consistently ranks much lower than the national average. In 2006, Georgia ranked as the 8th worst state with an infant mortality rate (IMR) of 8.1 deaths per 1,000 live births; the U.S. national average IMR was 6.7. After reaching an all-time low IMR of 5.3 in 1999, Georgia’s infant mortality rate (IMR) increased to 7.3 per 1,000 live births in 2008 and has remained 15-20% higher than the national average. 
At any given time, African American infants are two times more likely to die than White infants. In 2008 in Georgia, African Americans had an average IMR of 13.8 vs. White IMR of 7.3 per 1,000 live births. In Georgia, the number one cause of infant mortality is disorders related to preterm birth and low birth weight. 

Program Overview 
Healthcare Georgia Foundation supports the implementation and/or expansion of evidence-based programs designed to improve birth outcomes in Georgia. The Taking Care of You initiative is a multi-year funding effort by the Foundation to reduce preterm births, low-birth weight and SUID/SIDS among targeted high disparity populations in Georgia through the application of evidence-based interventions. This initiative also constitutes the Foundation’s investment and contribution as a larger statewide effort to improve infant and maternal health outcomes in Georgia. 

Taking Care of You builds upon a previous demonstration program supporting promising approaches to improved infant health. The initiative reflects a commitment to achieving health equity through targeted community interventions addressing population health disparities. 

Grantees

In addition, the following were awarded grants as a part of the Taking Care of You initiative: 

  • Emory University School of Medicine: Support to conduct a cross-site evaluation of the Taking Care of You initiative 
  • Porter Novelli: Support for a social marketing and outreach and education campaign - Taking Care of You

 

Additional Resources:

America’s Health Rankings – United Health Foundation

Kaiser Family Foundation

CDC – National Vital Statistics Report (PDF)

The Commonwealth Fund – Health System Data Center