Federal report lists recommendations and strategies for reducing infant mortality

The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM) released a report listing six strategic directions and its recommendations for reducing infant mortality in the United States. In 2011, the infant mortality rate in the U.S. was 6.05 deaths per 1,000 live births. Northeast Florida’s infant mortality rate for 2012 was higher than the national rate, at 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The SACIM’s six strategic directions for reducing infant mortality are as follows:

  1. Improve the health of women before during, and beyond pregnancy.
  2. Ensure access to a continuum of safe and high-quality, patient centered care.
  3. Redeploy key evidence-based, highly effective preventive interventions to a new generation of families.
  4. Increase health equity and reduce disparities by targeting social determinants of health through both investments in high-risk, under-resourced communities and major initiatives to address poverty.
  5. Invest in adequate data, monitoring, and surveillance systems to measure access, quality, and outcomes.
  6. Maximize the potential of interagency, public-private, and multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Several nation- and statewide initiatives already adhere to the six strategic directions the SACIM recommends.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Show Your Love preconception health campaign partnered with organizations that implement state and national programs (including the Coalition) to reach messages of health to women of childbearing age.
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration’s maternal and child health training program developed the life course approach, a conceptual framework used to understand health disparities and address them. The Coalition’s Magnolia Project uses this life course approach as part of its case management program.
  • The Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, Inc.are based on public-private models, providing collaboration between public and private entities and strengthening interagency connections.
  • The March of Dimes’ Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait, public education and awareness campaign implemented by the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions deploys evidence-based information about the length of fetal development to new generations.

The SACIM was established in 1991 as an advisory committee to the Secretary on Department of Health and Human Services’ programs that aim to reduce infant mortality and improve the health of pregnant women and infants. The committee provides advice and guidance to address the reduction of infant mortality.