Infant mortality rates, defined as the death of a baby before his or her first birthday, have declined 15 percent between 2004 and 2015, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. However, that statistic doesn't tell the whole story. The mortality rate of African-American babies remains at least twice that of white babies and overall progress in reducing these rates has stalled.
This racial disparity is evident in Cuyahoga County. According to a recent report, African American infants die at a rate six times higher than white infants.
One program that has experienced success in reducing infant mortality among low-income families is theNurse FamilyPartnership (NFP). Developed in the 1970s by medical professor David L. Olds - and formally introduced in 2003 - this program brings specially trained nurses to visit first-time, Medicaid-eligible mothers in their homes from the time of pregnancy until their child is two years old. Today, NFP serves low-income, first-time moms and their babies in 42 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and six Tribal communities. Can this program and others like it erase the disparity in infant mortality rates? What else can we be doing to aid low-income mothers and their children?
Join us for a conversation with Dr. Olds on the intersection of health and poverty and how programs like NFP can improve outcomes.