Here's Michigan's new plan to improve the health of its moms and babies

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Posted at 10:28 AM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 11:33:20-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has released its plan improve the health of local moms and babies.

It's called the 2020-2023 Mother Infant Strategy Group (MISG). The improvement plan includes comprehensive statewide strategies that will align stakeholders around key goals to improve the health of mothers and babies.

“It’s so important that our state continues to move forward in helping new moms and babies lead healthy lives,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Right now, the U.S. has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world, and Detroit’s maternal death rate is three times the national average. That’s why this improvement plan is so important. When we work together to acknowledge and address health disparities, we can make sure expecting moms have the care they need to have a healthy pregnancy no matter where they live.”

Health officials say the overall vision for the plan is zero preventable deaths and zero health disparities. These will be the plan's six primary priorities:

  • Health equity.
  • Healthy girls, women and mothers.
  • Optimal birth spacing.
  • Full-term, healthy weight babies.
  • Infants safely sleeping.
  • Mental, emotional and behavioral well-being.
“While many people are doing great work to improve the lives of mothers, infants and families, the data shows there is much more we need to do,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “The improvement plan will align partners, track metrics and make sure we are engaging a variety of community partners in this important work.”

Michigan's infant mortality rate is higher than the national rate, with 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.

There are also significant disparities that exist across race, with black infants 2.8 times more likely to die before their first birthday than white infants, according to the department. The plan emphasizes addressing both clinical and non-clinical factors, such as housing, racial biases, access to family planning and promoting safe sleep practices.

You can find more information here.