The Infant Mortality Pilot seeks to respond to national and local disparities that African Americans face regarding infant mortality. African American infants are more than twice as likely to die in their first year of life than White, non-Hispanic infants, and most of these deaths are preventable. The State Office of African American Affairs (OAAA) requested funding and enacted legislation (State Bill 69) to pilot evidence-based, culturally competent programing that will increase education, information and support for pregnant African American women in Bernalillo County, which has the largest population of African Americans in New Mexico. The infant mortality rate among African Americans in New Mexico is 10.6 per 1,000 live births (Source: New Mexico Vital Records and Health Statistics via New Mexico Internet Based Information System https://ibis.health.state.nm.us/) Research suggests that low birth weight (i.e., weight at birth of less than 2,500 g) is a significant factor in infant deaths among African Americans.
Committed to offering intervention services that add to the body of research, OAAA choose the Centering Model as the intervention strategy that could support black mothers and their unborn children. This model provides a group prenatal care modality that has been proven to positively impact infant mortality and premature birthrates nationally. Along with Centering, OAAA will work to develop and distribute culturally competent outreach and education programing that directly addresses infant and maternal health in this high disparity population.
Centering groups typically start serving women when they are 14-16 weeks pregnant and can accommodate 10-12 women in each group. Several groups consisting of women with similar due dates can run at one time. Centering groups will be open to all pregnant women seeking and receiving care at the clinic site partnering with this pilot. This pilot will allow the OAAA to support the state at large in exploring new care models to improve statewide infant and maternal health.
To learn more about the Centering Program click here http://centeringhealthcare.org/