Policy Resource

North Carolina Develops Strategic Plan to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality

Sep 20, 2016

North Carolina has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the nation. Here's what they're doing to address it.

North Carolina’s infant mortality rate ranks worse than all but seven states. The state average of 7.0 deaths per 1,000 births masks significant disparities by race, ethnicity, and geography. African American babies are more than twice as likely to die as non-Hispanic White babies and the infant mortality rate in some counties is more than three times that in others. Spurred to action by this data, health experts, practitioners, and advocates came together over the past three years to develop a statewide Perinatal Health Strategic Plan.

The plan builds on research showing that birth outcomes are influenced by a wide variety of factors, including parents’ health and mental health. It uses the 12-Point Plan to Close the Black-White Gap in Birth Outcomes: A Life Course Approach developed by researchers at University of California Los Angeles, Boston University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the foundation to achieve three population goals:

  1. Improve healthcare for women
  2. Strengthen families and communities
  3. Address social and economic inequities The North Carolina Division of Public Health is working with communities to identify specific actions that can be taken at the state and community levels to implement the plan.

The North Carolina Division of Public Health is working with communities to identify specific actions that can be taken at the state and community levels to implement the plan.

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