New state plan increases efforts to cut baby deaths

By LAUREN GENTILE
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan has one of the nation’s highest infant mortality rates, and experts are trying to change that by teaching future parents and caretakers about healthy pregnancies and proper sleep positions for newborns, supporting women’s health and reducing unwanted pregnancies. The Michigan Department of Community Health released its “Infant Mortality Reduction Plan” in August 2012, said Angela Minicuci, public information officer. “Infants are dying for many reasons and through the plan we have created, we can reduce the risk for death and the eventual number of deaths in infants within Michigan,” said Minicuci. In Michigan, five out of 1,000 Caucasian babies, seven out of every 1,000 Hispanic babies and 14 out of every 1,000 African-American babies die before their first birthday. “With an average of 7.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010, that is seven babies too many,” Minicuci said.

State, researchers attack infant mortality

By SAODAT ASANOVA-TAYLOR
Capital News Service
LANSING – As infant mortality rates continue to rise across the state, the Department of Community Health is implementing a new plan that should reduce the number of deaths and disparities based on geography, socio-economic issues and race. Last October, the Department of Community Health convened a summit to identify strategies to reduce and prevent infant deaths. Based on recommendations from politicians, health specialists and community leaders, the department developed a plan to reduce the infant mortality rate. Angela Minicuci, a public information officer for the department, said her agency continue to seek input as it works to update the current statewide plan. “We’re in the process of finalizing the updates to the plan which will continue to serve various populations across the entire state.”
According to Minicuci, the new plan will work to reduce unintended pregnancies by making family services available and implementing a system to ensure all women deliver at locations that best serve their specific needs.