Experts Gather to Reduce Michigan's Rising Infant Mortality Rate

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

For Immediate Release:  October 17, 2011

LANSING - Aligning with Governor Snyder's efforts to reinvent Michigan, as well as make Michigan a healthier, stronger state, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is bringing together stakeholders from across the state to identify strategies that will reduce infant mortality rates and disparities in Michigan.

The "Michigan Call to Action to Reduce and Prevent Infant Mortality Summit" will take place from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17 at the Ann Arbor Marriott at Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti.

Governor Rick Snyder will deliver opening remarks at 8:45 a.m. followed by a presentation on infant mortality rates and disparities in Michigan. MDCH Director Olga Dazzo will issue a charge to the workgroups at 10:45 a.m., encouraging summit participants to work together to reduce the number of infant deaths in Michigan.

"Unfortunately, the infant mortality rate in Michigan has gone up over the course of the last three years. With about eight babies out of every 1,000 not making it to their first birthday, it's clear we must bolster our efforts to reduce infant mortality," said Olga Dazzo, Director of the MDCH. "This summit is a key first step toward improving the health of our mothers, babies, and the entire state."

The summit is designed to seek input from key stakeholders from across the state to identify priority strategies to refine and strength the state action plan for reducing infant mortality in Michigan. In line with the Governor's message on health and wellness, participants will also be asked to identify the role they or their organization will play in supporting the priority strategies identified at the summit.

Experts will be made available to the media for interviews at 11 a.m., including:

  • Olga Dazzo
    Director, Michigan Department of Community Health

  • Lawrence Reynolds, M.D.
    President and C.E.O., Mott Children's Medical Center

  • Mouhanad Hammami, M.D.
    Acting Health Officer, Chief of Health Operations
    Wayne County Department of Health and Human Services

  • Valerie M. Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
    Dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine

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