The Coalition is continuing to focus on social determinants of health after reviewing the 2017-18 Fetal & Infant Mortality Review results. The results were released along with the status of maternal and child health in the region at the October 18th annual FIMR community meeting.
Click here for the full presentation on the FIMR results. Also released was the 2017-18 Project IMPACT report, which looks at the status of maternal and child health in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.
FIMR’s Case Review Team (CRT) reviewed 28 cases in 2017-18 utilizing an approach developed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) that pulls information from birth, death, medical, hospital and autopsy records and maternal interviews. A Community Action Group then takes the CRT’s recommendations and implements them in the community to address the root causes of health disparities and social factors that impact health.
The majority of infant deaths in 2017 were due to perinatal conditions, prematurity and sudden unexpected infant deaths. Areas of concern saw significant racial disparities in infant mortality related to prematurity and low birth weight babies. In 2017, March of Dimes gave Duval County an “F” grade for the number of premature infants born in the county – over 11% of infants born in Duval are premature.
In many cases, moms who lost their baby have more against them than in their favor. Case reviews revealed that mothers and families are dealing with rough living conditions, poverty, poor public transportation, lack of employment or discrimination from employer, health disabilities and much more contributing to the loss of their baby. Social determinants of health are the root causes of health disparities.
Based on the infant mortality statistics and the FIMR cases, the Case Review Team developed the following recommendations:
• Continue with community awareness of safe sleep practices through expanding activities of the Safe Sleep Task Force; partnering with maternal and child health partners, housing agencies and faith-based organizations to address safe sleep with moms; providing safe sleep training for medical professionals, nurses, day care centers, pediatricians and paramedics; implementing a full-scale safe sleep marketing campaign; and encouraging hospital birthing centers to continue to ask “Where will your baby sleep?” and link to crib distribution when needed.
• Engage, educate and train lay health advocates and peers who want to know the facts about infant mortality and want to share the information with family, friends, coworkers and other community residents that babies are dying in their community.
• Train program participants in self advocacy skills like negotiation and persuasion to become a voice for their community needs. Continue to grow the Make a Difference! Leadership Academy.