Infant Mortality is a surrogate measure of how well a society ensures the health of its people, particularly its women and children. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infant mortality is defined as the number of deaths occurring in the first year of life per 1000 births. Between 2007- 2011, Georgia’s Infant Mortality Rate was 7.3 deaths per 1000 live births, or 5175 infant deaths.
The Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (IM CoIIN) Learning Network is a voluntary national effort designed to accelerate improvements in infant mortality that are replicable, scalable, and measurable. The Georgia Department of Public Health – Maternal and Child Health Section (DPH-MCH) is currently participating in three of the CoIIN Learning Networks: 1) Safe Sleep, 2) Perinatal Regionalization, and 3) Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).
The primary area of focus for our Safe Sleep work is to: a) reduce the number of sleep related Sudden Unexpected Infant Death mortality rate in the state by 10% and b) increase the % of infants placed to sleep in a safe sleep environment by 10% or more throughout the state. To date, we have developed a “Safe Sleep Display” kit, creating a visual of what a proper infant sleep environment looks like, and have given out 29 kits to community based organizations, health departments, hospitals and organizations throughout the state.
Hospitals are characterized by four levels of neonatal care as defined by the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Each level describes the services that a facility is equipped to provide with the lowest level providing basic, comprehensive well baby care and the highest level providing care for the most complex neonatal conditions. Regional Perinatal Centers are considered Level IV hospitals as they provide NICU services as well as surgery, consultation, outreach and transport services. The primary area of focus for our Perinatal Regionalization work is to increase the percent of Very Low Birth Weight (<1500 grams) and very preterm (>32 weeks gestation) infants delivering at risk appropriate facilities (Level III+ Neonatal Intensive Care Units) by 20% throughout the state. In an effort to improve maternal outcomes, perinatal regionalization is also instrumental in facilitating appropriate care of high risk pregnant women.
Social Determinants of Health
Our Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) work aims to focus on cross-cutting actions from the WHO framework, including monitoring and follow-up of health equity and SDOH and evidence on intervention on SDOH. Currently, we are working to: 1) monitor inequality and change disparities in birth outcomes throughout the state, 2) promote perinatal quality improvement (QI) projects involving LARCs, and 3) promote the Centering Pregnancy model of prenatal care in Georgia.
Schedule an informational phone call by contacting the Georgia Department of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health Section at 404-657-2850.
Page last updated 9/19/2019