In a press release on May 5th, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan Dr. Joneigh Khaldun announced that the 2019 infant mortality rate in Detroit was the lowest it’s been in the past 20 years. According to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services data, Detroit’s infant mortality rate went from 16.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018 to 11 per 1,000 live births in 2019. In 2018 the rate was 18.9 for Black babies compared to 6.4 for white babies. In 2019, that gap closed dramatically with a rate of 12.3 for Black babies and 9.7 for white babies.
An infant mortality rate gives the number of infants out of every 1,000 live births that die before they turn one year old. This rate in Detroit had been increasing for Black babies since 2013, while decreasing for white babies, showing a serious disparity. This announcement by the City of Detroit gives us hope that we are on the right track to improving infant health in the community.
We’re honored to be included in Mayor Duggan and Dr. Khaldun’s list of organizations credited for contributing to this decrease. WIN Network: Detroit partners with Henry Ford Health System to provide group prenatal care to pregnant individuals in Detroit. Our group prenatal care model provides extra quality time with a provider (Certified Nurse Midwife), individualized support from Community Health Workers, and addresses patients’ social needs. WIN Network: Detroit also ensures that moms have a community of other individuals to experience their pregnancies together, providing support to one another.
The other organizations accredited by Mayor Duggan and Dr. Khaldun have done incredible work to improve infant mortality rates in Detroit. These organizations include:
- Detroit Regional Infant Mortality Reduction Task Force
- Region 10 Southeastern Michigan Perinatal Quality Improvement Coalition (SEMPQIC)
- Make Your Date
- Doula-based and Midwifery Programs
- Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association
- Detroit Infant Mortality Program (Ascension St. John Providence)
- School Health Clinics
- Great Start Collaborative Wayne County
- SisterFriends Detroit
We are proud of the work that has been done so far to improve maternal and infant health, but we know there is a long way to go. This announcement has shown us that our work has an impact, and gives us motivation to keep fighting to further reduce infant mortality in Detroit.