The Census impacts policies that affect funding geared towards reducing infant mortality
The United States Census Bureau is the largest statistical agency of the federal government. It provides facts and figures about people living in America (citizens or non-citizens) in addition to information about places and the economy overall. Mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the Census of Population and Housing counts every resident in the U.S. every 10 years. This survey asks a series of questions that impacts planning and policymaking for the next decade. Specifically, data collected from the census determines distribution of Congressional seats to states. Census responses also drive important decisions regarding community services and funding allocation to areas such as education, transportation, and public health.
One area of public health that is a key measure of the nation’s health is infant mortality. Infant mortality is the death of an infant before the age of one (1) per 1,000 live births. Infant mortality is reflective of socioeconomic conditions, maternal health, several public health practices, access to quality and affordable health care, and other factors. Some of the leading causes of infant mortality, such as premature birth (babies born before 37 weeks), are preventable and can be addressed through public policy.
The Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF) was established to address the disproportionately high rates of infant mortality among African Americans in Wisconsin, which has one of the worst black infant mortality rates in the nation. From 2015-2018, babies born to black mothers in Wisconsin were three times (3x) more likely to die before their first birthday than babies born to white mothers.
LIHF seeks to become the face and leading voice in infant mortality and healthy birth outcomes in Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties. Policy and programs that LIHF is intentionally including as its strategies and focal points that have the potential to reduce infant mortality, and that are impacted by data collection methods such as the census include the following:
Everyone, especially people of color, needs to be counted in the 2020 Census! Every individual is a major piece of the puzzle needed to strengthen our communities and families. Please visit LIHF’s Facebook page: @LIHFProgramOffice and website: https://lihf.wisc.edu to stay abreast of our progress toward reducing infant mortality across Southeastern Wisconsin.
Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families Announces New Partnership
Posted on August 12, 2019
The Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families, with continued support from the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), is pleased to announce that it will continue and enhance its work in Southeastern Wisconsin to improve birth outcomes for African American families.
The Lifecourse Initiative is expanding to include a new partnership with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (PHI). The Lifecourse Initiative is using a new grant totaling $970,000 from the Wisconsin Partnership Program to build the strategic initiative’s infrastructure, pilot community capacity-building strategies, and increase awareness of strategies to reduce black-white disparities in birth outcomes for African American women, with a priority area of chronic stress.
The work will take place over the next 18 months. The Initiative continues to be led by Gina Green-Harris, MBA, director of the Lifecourse Initiative, and brings the new addition of Sheri Johnson, PhD, director of the PHI at the UW SMPH, who serves as the academic partner.
Read the recent press release.