265902 Community-based approaches to infant mortality reduction: What works

Monday, October 29, 2012

Denise C. Carty, MA, MS , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Tonya M. Turner , REACH US Coordinator, Genesee County Health Department, Flint, MI
Bettina Campbell, MSW , YOUR Center, Flint, MI
E. Hill DeLoney , Flint Odyssey House Health Awareness Center, Flint, MI
Kent Key, MPH , Community Based Organization Partners, Flint, MI
Derek M. Griffith, PhD , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Background: Since 2001, the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health partnership in Flint, Michigan has conducted a multi-program intervention which features sustained efforts to address racism as a social determinant of African American health inequities across the lifespan. During the intervention period, there was a noticeable average decline in African American infant mortality. However, there is a dearth of public health research to validate how community-based and anti-racism focused strategies can result in improved health for African American women and infants. Method: In an effort to build the evidence-base for how anti-racism interventions may contribute to reducing adverse infant health outcomes, we undertook a systematic qualitative evaluation to document components of the REACH intervention that would logically contribute to reduced infant mortality rates, including intermediate outcomes on individuals, families, and the health system. Our innovative use of community-based participatory research and grounded theory analysis of over 30 in-depth interviews ensured that the authentic voices of program participants and community stakeholders were represented in the evaluation. Results: Preliminary findings revealed culturally-relevant health promotion strategies among African Americans and health system improvements in high-risk antenatal assessment and coordination of care. We will share these and other findings which demonstrate evidence of innovative and replicable practices to reduce maternal and infant health disparities with an emphasis on multiple strategies to combat racism. The findings and lessons learned in this evaluation are intended to benefit both healthcare and community-based initiatives directed to reducing racial disparities in African American infant mortality.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe program components of community-based, anti-racism interventions that contribute to improved African American maternal and infant health. Formulate a community-based program evaluation using qualitative methods.

Keywords: Infant Mortality, Community-Based Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a program coordinator for the REACH coalition and helped with the design and conduct of one of the featured best-pratice programs. I also participated in this participatory evaluation project, and I contributed to the analysis.
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.