The Indiana State Department of Health has awarded a $2 million grant to Aspire Indiana Health in an effort to lower the infant mortality rate in Madison County. The four-year grant, funded by the ISDH’s Safety Pin program, will provide comprehensive services for women in the county between the ages of 15 and 34.
Aspire Indiana Health says the grant will fund a new program to address the three leading causes of infant death: prematurity, birth defects and sleep-related deaths.
The program aims to improve early detection of pregnancy and identify women at high risk for preterm delivery. It will also provide access to prenatal care as well as an education program about safe sleeping practices for infants and home visiting programs for at-risk women and newborns, among other services.
"A healthy baby starts with a healthy mommy. In addition to all of the initiatives outlined in our infant mortality prevention program, Aspire Indiana Health promotes optimal health for women in Madison County," said Syd Ehmke, chief operating officer of Aspire Indiana Health. "Our program aims to significantly decrease healthcare issues before the pregnancy and allows the medical providers to focus on the pregnancy with intensive education and follow up needed to combat the infant mortality rate."
The organization says Indiana’s infant mortality rate in 2014 was 7 per every 1,000 births, compared to the national average of 5.8.