September, 2014: Infant Mortality Awareness Month

WHEREAS, infant mortality is a critical indicator of the overall health and welfare of the people of Michigan that is associated with a variety of factors such as income, housing, education, employment, social support, cultural barriers, mothers health before pregnancy and access and quality of prenatal and infant care; and,

WHEREAS, Governor Rick Snyder has called special attention to the issue of Michigan’s infant mortality rate; and,

WHEREAS, the state of Michigan’s infant mortality rate of 6.9 deaths per 1,000 births remains higher than the national infant mortality rate of 6.1; and,

WHEREAS, the state of Michigan’s African American infant mortality rate of 13.5 deaths per 1,000 births remains excessively higher than the Caucasian infant mortality rate of 5.5 deaths per 1,000 births further underscoring the urgency to address the social, cultural and environmental factors that impact health equity in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan ranks 39th overall in the United States in infant mortality; and,

WHEREAS, one of the top priorities of the Michigan Department of Community Health is to ensure all Michigan babies survive and thrive by reducing the infant mortality rate, defined as the number of deaths in the first year of life per 1,000 live births born in the same year; and,

WHEREAS, the month of September was established by the National Healthy Start Association to increase people’s awareness of the high rates of preventable infant deaths through education and special programs;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 2014 as Infant Mortality Awareness Month in Michigan.