Cass County among those receiving grants to fight infant mortality
INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) announced Oct. 27 that it has awarded $11 million in competitive grants to hospitals, local health departments and nonprofit organizations for projects designed to help reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate.
Seven entities will receive funding through the state’s Safety PIN (Protecting Indiana’s Newborns) grant program. The grants are in addition to $12.9 million in Safety PIN grants awarded in December 2016.
“Infant mortality is one of the most pressing health problems affecting our state, and we must ensure that we are doing everything possible to promote healthy pregnancies and help children thrive in their first year of life and beyond,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “This requires innovation and commitment from all corners of our state, and I am heartened by the passion and determination shown by the grant recipients in addressing this issue.”
A total of 28 entities applied for this wave of Safety PIN grants. Applications were evaluated on a number of criteria, which included innovation, community partnerships and geographical location. Projects chosen to move forward include ones focused on prenatal care coordination; home visiting; healthy pregnancy spacing; smoking cessation during and after pregnancy; and promoting safe sleep education and crib distribution.
The grants are designed to be provided over a four-year period. Recipients will receive 60 percent of the funds during the first two years and will be eligible for the remaining 40 percent, based on performance in reducing the region’s infant mortality rate, in the final two years.
The 2017 Safety PIN grant recipients are:
- Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indianapolis
- New Hope Services, Inc., Jeffersonville
- Bauer Family Resources, Lafayette
- Franciscan Health Foundation, northwestern Indiana
- Vanderburgh County Health Department, Evansville
- Community Wellness Partners, Cass County
- Parkview Health, Fort Wayne
Infant mortality is defined as the death of a baby before his or her first birthday. The most common causes of infant mortality are serious birth defects, preterm birth, low birthweight, sudden unexpected infant death syndrome, unintentional injuries and maternal complications of pregnancy. In 2015, the last year for which completed data are available, 613 Indiana children died before the age of 1. A disproportionate number of those children were African-American or Hispanic.
ISDH has created a plan to reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate by focusing on key areas, including decreasing the number of elective deliveries, decreasing the number of infant suffocation deaths by promoting safe sleep practices and offering cribs to those in need, promoting early prenatal care, decreasing smoking rates among pregnant women and their partners, and fostering support of drug-exposed pregnant women and their newborns.
To learn more about how you can help reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate, visit the ISDH Labor of Love website at www.laboroflove.in.gov.
Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.
SOURCE: News release from Indiana State Department of Health