Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Inc.

Connecting Children & Families to Health Promotion Resources. 

Wednesday October 04, 2023

Brooklyn Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative Mission (BIMRI)

The mission of this cross-cutting initiative is to coordinate infant mortality reduction activities across multiple programs and through community partnerships and to pilot new interventions in Central Brooklyn, to reduce infant mortality and lessen racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities.

This initiative began as a Department of Health Planning Council Cross-Cutting Project. Infant mortality was selected as the first of several cross-cutting initiatives to be undertaken by the Department as it is a multi-factorial problem and is regarded as a sensitive measure of a community's health status and well-being. The psychosocial, behavioral, and environmental factors that impact infant mortality highlight the importance of addressing infant mortality through a multi-pronged approach. In addition, efforts to reduce the infant mortality rate are utilizing the resources of the various programs and offices within the Department. Results of an extensive data analysis, literature review and community resource inventory conducted by the Infant Mortality Task Force, led to the selection of Central Brooklyn as the target community district for a pilot program. The initiative eventually plans to expand its efforts to include all NYC communities that are affected by high infant mortality rates.

The two underlying principles of the Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative (IMRI) are 1) community involvement and partnership development and 2) intra-Department of Health cross-cutting participation.

Partnership Development and Coordination
The initiative is convening and facilitating a comprehensive coalition of agencies to increase efficiency and coordination of infant mortality reduction activities. This initiative works with many DOH Programs and Offices to coordinate and strengthen internal infant mortality reduction efforts. Through this partnership, the project promotes women's health before, during, and after pregnancy, emphasizes the importance of preconception health for a healthy pregnancy, and implements and strengthens specific infant mortality reduction interventions.

As part of this project, infant mortality reduction activities are conducted jointly with the other programs of the OFH and in collaboration with other DOH programs, local community-based organizations, and clinical providers. These activities include, but may not be limited to:

Media Campaign
The campaign aims at increasing community awareness of infant mortality and educating the community about risk factors for poor pregnancy outcomes and infant death. This campaign consists of posters, brochures, radio announcements and video.

Community Education
This project will develop culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials aimed to: a) inform community residents on infant mortality risk factors; b) stress the importance of preconception health (the state of health of a couple before the beginning of a pregnancy), of regular medical check-ups and of a healthy readiness for pregnancy, and c) promote behavioral changes.

Medical Provider Education
This project will develop a curriculum to inform providers on the socio-cultural risk factors for infant mortality, improve awareness of the importance of preconception health, and inform these providers on factors important for providing culturally sensitive care to a diverse population.

Intra-Departmental Cross-Cutting Activities
DOHMH programs to increase awareness of preconception health, pregnancy risk factors, and infant health among the population that these programs serve. The programs that offer direct services to women at-risk will screen and refer pregnant women who need services to the MIRHP.

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