INFANT MORTALITY INITIATIVE
Infant Mortality Initiative
YWCA Kalamazoo is leading the effort to curb infant mortality in Kalamazoo. The death of a baby before their first birthday is called infant mortality. The infant mortality rate is the number of infant deaths that occur for every 1,000 live births. Infant mortality effects all of us because we are all a part of this community. This rate is often used as an indicator to measure the health and well-being of a community because factors affecting the health of entire populations can also impact the death of infants. Kalamazoo has an alarmingly high infant mortality rate for babies of color. This is not who we are as a community, and we have everything we need to improve the lives of all Kalamazoo babies.
YWCA Kalamazoo’s Women’s Initiatives Department offers the following programs to support the community-wide infant mortality initiative, Cradle Kalamazoo.
The Kalamazoo Infant Mortality Community Action Initiative (KIMCAI) is a community collaborative effort aimed to bringing together residents, stakeholders and diverse experts in the community to provide valuable input on solutions that will improve birth outcomes in Kalamazoo County. Please contact our Infant Mortality Coordinator, Whitney Holloway at firstname.lastname@example.org, for further information.
Cradle Kalamazoo, formerly known as the Kalamazoo Infant Mortality Community Action Initiative (KIMCAI), is a multi-agency community initiative lead by YWCA Kalamazoo. This initiative is based on the work of many community members and organizations, including Dr. Arthur James who brought attention to and began working on the racial disparities in infant mortality in 1992. By bringing together community leaders and organizations to implement evidence-based and holistic interventions, our goal is to reduce infant death and promote respect for families, women and their children.
The Kalamazoo County infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the State of Michigan. While the overall infant mortality rate has decreased in the last 30 years, the disparity among babies of color and white babies has increased. In Kalamazoo, babies of color are four times more likely to die before their first birthday than their white neighbors. Cradle Kalamazoo’s mission is to get the support to those who need it the most. We work with women and families that are at high risk, due to economic factors, previous adverse birth outcomes, and/or race.
Our Vision: Reduce the infant mortality rate among babies of color in Kalamazoo to 6.0 (per 1,000 live births) by 2020.
Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP)
YWCA Kalamazoo Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) is a home visiting program for parents with Medicaid insurance in Kalamazoo County that provides care coordination services to promote healthy pregnancies, successful birth outcomes, and healthy infant development for those who are pregnant or with children ages 0-1. YWCA MIHP welcomes families of any type or orientation.
Women and Infant Supportive Help (WISH)
YWCA Kalamazoo Women and Infant Supportive Help (WISH) is a personal visitation program that provides ongoing, positive support that keeps parents and families engaged after the pregnancy and empowers participants to make decisions about their own health and the health of their children ages 0-2 years. Both YWCA WISH welcomes families of any type or orientation.