Building Policy Solutions to Address Infant Mortality

infant mortality policy event


How can policymakers address infant mortality through legislation? What are the key strategies to consider when building policy partnerships? And what can Wisconsin learn from Ohio’s success in passing a comprehensive package of bills aimed at reducing Ohio’s high infant mortality rate?

The Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF) hosted an event in Milwaukee on July 13th to discuss the answers to these questions. “Building Policy Solutions to Address Infant Mortality: Ohio’s Success Story” featured Shannon Jones, former Ohio State Senator and co-sponsor of the recently passed Ohio infant mortality legislation. Ohio, like, Wisconsin, has one of the highest African-American infant mortality rates in the nation. Jones covered a number of topics during her keynote talk, including strategies for messaging and building partnerships, but one take home message stood out:

Addressing an issue like infant mortality requires policy change to be able to scale up the evidence-based work and ensure sustainability.”

Whether or not you were able to join us at this event, LIHF has created materials to help you build the case for policy change. Use these tools and ask yourself: Why is infant mortality a problem that Wisconsin needs to address through policy change? How can we build public will around this issue and advocate for change? Who needs to be engaged? What are my next steps to educate my local and state policymakers?

Approximately 70 people attended the event, including two co-chairs of the Wisconsin Legislative Children’s Caucus, Representative Joan Ballweg and Senator LaTonya Johnson. For more information about the Children’s Caucus, read the White Paper on the Development of Wisconsin Legislative Children’s Caucus or visit their website. 

We encourage you to continue these discussions with your colleagues and with us.

If you attended the event, please complete an evaluation here.

Thank you to our speakers: Gina Green-Harris, Julia Means, Patrick Remington, Angela Rohan, Deborah Ehrenthal, Pamela Smith, Natalie Harlan, Samantha Perry, Shannon Jones, LaTonya Johnson, Tasha Jenkins, Wanda Montgomery, and Eileen Smith. Thank you also to Ebenezer Church of God in Christ for hosting this important conversation.