Infant Mortality Initiative


To improve perinatal outcomes and decrease infant mortality/low birth weight infants and SIDS deaths

Extent Of Problem:

  • Indiana ranked 32nd in the nation in infant mortality; 31st in adequacy of prenatal care and disparity was 2.3 times higher between black and white infant deaths. (HRSA Bureau of Health Professions 2000)

  • There has been a significant improvement in white infant mortality from 8.7 in 1990 to 6.7 in 2000. The black infant mortality went from 17.6 in 1990 to 16.0 in 2000. There were 29 Hispanic infant deaths in 2000.

  • The incidence of low birth weight infants in Indiana increased from 6.6% in 1990 to 7.3% in 2000.

  • The Indiana SIDS deaths decreased from 109 in 1994 to 57 in 2000.

  • According to the 1996 cohort study, maternal factors associated with increased risk of infant death among all races include being less than age 20, being unmarried, being a smoker, having less than 12 years of education and receiving inadequate prenatal care.


  • Develop the Indiana Perinatal Network (, an alliance of individuals and community groups to promote optimal health care for every pregnant woman and infant (to age one) by assisting in the assessment of perinatal care systems and generating recommendations and activities aimed at improving Indiana’s perinatal care system.

  • Reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate to 4.5/1,000 by 2010.

  • Increase to 90% the number of pregnant women who receive prenatal care during the first trimester by 2010.

  • Reduce the low birth weight rate to 5% by 2010.

  • Increase the incidence of breastfeeding to 75% by 2010.

  • Implement "Back to Sleep" program to decrease SIDS deaths.

  • Provide education and support to families who lose an infant in first year of life.

  • Increase the percent of pregnant women who do not smoke to 2% by 2010.

  • Improve the pregnancy outcomes of women in prison through the Indiana Women’s Prison Incarcerated Women’s Passport for Healthy Families Project and Family Preservation Services.

  • Promote implementation of "Baby First...Right From the Start" multimedia campaign.

  • Publish Indiana Perinatal Network Newsletter

  • Convene three State Perinatal Advisory Board meetings a year

  • Provide consultation to fetal and infant mortality reviews

  • Promote Perinatal Continuing education programs


  • Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant

  • Other funding obtained in collaboration with Indiana Perinatal Network, Indiana Family and Social Services (FSSA), Indiana Department of Corrections, Health Visions Midwest, Indiana Minority Health Coalitions and many other groups.

Contact : Nurse Consultant
Bus:  317-233-1249