Coalition’s new five-year plan outlines efforts to address health equity, social determinants of health

The Coalition completed a new five-year Service Delivery Plan in June that aligns with our three main areas of focus – saving babies, strengthening families and building communities – and integrates a life course framework, with a heavy focus on health equity and the social determinants of health. The Coalition membership approved the plan, which has been submitted to the Florida Department of Health for final approval.

The 2018-2023 Service Delivery Plan was developed to track progress over the last nine years in addressing maternal and infant health needs in Northeast Florida, and to guide the development and funding of Healthy Start services through 2023. A 12-member planning committee reviewed the progress of the previous service delivery plan and received information on the current status of maternal and child health and social determinants, which they used to develop goals and strategies for the next five years.

The plan includes goals to reduce infant mortality, prematurity, prenatal smoking, lack of prenatal care, percentage of overweight and obese women during pregnancy, health disparities and much more.

The Coalition and its partners are committed to addressing infant mortality within a broader community context. Too many babies continue to die from preventable causes and lack of access to health services. Infant mortality is a sentinel indicator of the health of a community and can signify underlying issues that need to be addressed to ensure communities are healthy and thriving.

The life course approach suggests that a complex relationship between biological, psychological and social protective and risk factors contribute to health outcomes across the span of a person’s life. This framework is now integrated across the Coalition’s programs, to address the cumulative effect of health status and life events at different life stages.

Interpersonal, internalized and institutional racism are key factors in poor birth outcomes in the community, leading to persistent racial disparities. To achieve the goal of reducing infant mortality and improving the health of children, childbearing women, fathers and families, inequities ingrained in our communities must also be addressed and eliminated.

Goals and strategies outlining our key focus areas can be found in the 2018-2023 Service Delivery Plan.