In August 2012, the Michigan Department of Community Health released an Infant Mortality Reduction Plan to combat infant mortality and reduce disparities among racial and ethnic groups.
The work was spurred by 2010 data showing that for every 1,000 live births in Michigan, seven infants died before reaching their first birthday, a rate higher than the national average. The rate for African American babies was double that, 14.2 out of 1,000 African American infants died before they turned one. In response to this information, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder identified reducing infant mortality as a public health priority in 2011. The original plan laid out strategies and goals for 2012-2015. It was developed collaboratively with community, health care, academic, public health, and other maternal and child health stakeholders across the state. The Department of Community Health updated the plan for 2016-2019. It outlines nine specific goals:
- Achieve health equity and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities by addressing the social determinants of health in all infant mortality reduction goals and strategies
- Implement a Perinatal Care System
- Reduce premature births and low birth weight
- Support increasing the number of infants who are born healthy and continue to thrive
- Reduce sleep related infant deaths and disparities
- Expand home-visiting and other support programs to promote healthy women and children
- Support better health status of women and girls
- Reduce Unintended Pregnancies
- Promote behavioral health services and other programs to support vulnerable women and infants
The state’s progress in reducing infant mortality is publicly monitored on the Michigan Dashboard, an online data reporting tool used to provide a quick assessment of the state’s performance in key areas. In 2017 the white infant mortality rate was 4.8 per 1,000 live births while the black rate was 14.6 per 1,000 live births. Between 2006-2017 the white infant mortality rate remained about the same, while the black rate declined by 25% due to a reduction of infant deaths since 2005. The decline in the Michigan infant mortality rate is largely due to a reduction in black infant deaths.
Updated November 2019