228000 Racial disparities in infant mortality the conduit to health equity and social justice movement in the state of Florida

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:48 PM

Andrea JohnBaptiste, MAOM, CD(DONA) , Equal Health for All Education Committee- Florida, Sunrise, FL
Deborah Austin, PhD , REACHUP, Inc., Tampa, FL
Cynthia Harris, PhD, DABT , Institute of Public Health, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL
Jocelyn Turner , Duval County Health Department, Jacksonville, FL
Cortes Lewis , Tuff Love, Inc., Florida City, FL
In June 2007, the Florida Legislature appropriated $1million to the Department of Health to determine factors contributing to elevated rates of infant mortality in minority populations, and develop strategies for mitigation; creating the Black Infant Health Practice Initiative (BIHPI). Funding was allocated for two-years only. The initiative brought together Healthy Start Coalitions, Federal Healthy Start Projects, Florida's Department of Health, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of South Florida and eight communities serving areas with 1.75 times or greater rates of black to white infant mortality. Coalitions were charged with Fetal Infant Mortality case reviews and updating or initiating local Perinatal Periods of Risk analysis and engaging constituents in all aspects of the initiative. Prior to the conclusion of the funding cycle, the Universities applied for funding through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support the professional development of Black leaders, chosen by their community, to remain engaged and mobilized in on-going efforts. Hence, the Black Infant Health Community Collaborative (BIHCC) was born. Evidence of the impact of health disparities across disease areas and the urgency for addressing these issues emerged and members of both initiatives formed the Equal Health for all Education Community (EHFAEC). The EHFAEC has adopted objectives that include achieving social and health justice among communities of color; achieving health equity through action on the social determinants of health; achieving health equity through social justice; and addressing differences in population health that can be traced to unequal economic and social conditions and are systemic and avoidable. Concurrently the Florida's Office of Minority Health convened a committee to address issues of health equity and social justice. This committee, the Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (REHD) Committee, joined forces with the EHFAEC to address racial disparities in all aspects of Florida's health. Based on state data and the various initiatives, it was determined that -Blacks and other racial and ethnic groups are twice as likely as whites to die from infant mortality, cervical cancer, cardio-vascular health (CVH) and all cancers. Based on these efforts, CVH and all cancers have been prioritized for initial action. Efforts that address infant mortality continue.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the evolution of Florida’s Black Infant Health Practice Initiative (BIHPI) into Florida’s Equal Health For All Education Committee (EHFAEC). Discuss effective strategies used to galvanize stakeholders from across the state of Florida involved in the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities bringing focused and ongoing efforts to address avoidable inequalities by assuring the conditions of optimal health for all groups.

Keywords: Collaboration, Change Concepts

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conduct and oversee grassroots outreach efforts and maternal and child health and other epidiemological research and data analysis with emphasis on racial and ethnic disparities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.