Decline in Infant Mortality Rate
August 24, 2011
As Prepared for Delivery
To move Maryland forward, we must create jobs, and we must protect our quality of life.
The Talmud says that ‘to save one life, it is as if you had saved the world.’ In our State, where there is no such thing as a spare Marylander, we lost 45 fewer infants in 2010 than we lost in 2009.
It’s not by chance, but by choice that we succeeded in reducing infant mortality 7% last year, when we achieved the lowest rate in our State’s history, and now 10% this year – a new historic low.
It’s because of the hard work of a lot of the people here – including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Thanks to Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s leadership, Baltimore has helped lead the charge in reducing infant mortality this year. Her leadership is a big reason why we’ve succeeded in reducing infant mortality among African-American babies by 13%!
We are moving forward, but the loss of even one life, is one life too many. Therefore our work must continue. And it will.
Together, we’ve made progress by targeting our efforts in three areas: 1) improving the health of women before they become pregnant, 2) increasing the number of women who receive early prenatal care, and 3) ensuring that mothers and babies receive the follow-up care that they need after delivery.
Together with partners in and out of government, we’re working to continue saving lives:
Together, we’ve extended family planning services into a broader Comprehensive Women’s Health model, providing additional screening and referral services. CWH centers have delivered services to over 12,000 women in our State, including almost 4,000 here in Baltimore City.
Together, we’ve streamlined procedures to enroll pregnant women in Medicaid. Maryland is one of five states that allow infants born to parents whose income is up to 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to be eligible under the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Together, we’re supporting early prenatal care through “Quickstart” prenatal services at local health departments in the jurisdictions with the highest infant mortality rates.
Together, we’re improving the quality and safety of care in Maryland’s birthing hospitals.
And together, we’re expanding home visiting services for pregnant women and new families through new funding thanks to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
In conclusion, we’re making progress. And while we must remain cautious about interpreting any one year's result, the overall trend is moving in the right direction. We continue to move forward together.