Maternal and Infant Health
The number of infant deaths is one of the best indicators of a community’s health status. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births. High infant mortality and persistent racial disparities in birth outcomes have been highlighted for decades. Significant improvements have come about via advancing medical science, effective policies, technology and public health. However, Georgia consistently ranks much lower than the national average.
Taking Care of You: Preventing Infant Mortality
In 2013, Healthcare Georgia Foundation launched the four-year, $2.5 million Taking Care of You Initiative among high-risk populations to achieve measurable reductions in adverse birth outcomes, including but not limited to: low-birth weight, prematurity, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). This Initiative was built upon a previous demonstration program supporting promising approaches to improved infant health.
Taking Care of You represents the most rigorously designed, implemented, and evaluated investment in the Foundation’s 17 years of grantmaking.
The Taking Care of You (TCOY) Initiative supported the implementation and/or expansion of evidence-based programs and strategies in four Georgia communities with the goal of improving birth outcomes – preventing preterm births, low-birth weight and SUID/SIDS among targeted high disparity populations.
The Baby LUV Program in Valdosta, GA was one of the TCOY grantees. Hear from some of the moms in our video below.
The Initiative constituted the Foundation’s investment in a larger statewide effort to improve infant and maternal health outcomes in Georgia. A team from Emory University completed an evaluation of the Taking Care of You Initiative in 2017 and the Foundation recently published the findings in the Results Matter publication featured below.