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MDHHS launches new statewide action plan to improve birth equity

Vision is “Zero Preventable Deaths, Zero Health Disparities”

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Division of Maternal and Infant Health has launched a new four-year plan focused on improving birth outcomes for Michigan families.

Advancing Healthy Births: An Equity Plan for Michigan Families & Communities (2024 – 2028) highlights four priority areas:

  • Health across the reproductive span.
  • Full-term, healthy weight babies.
  • Infants safely sleeping.
  • Mental, behavioral health and well-being.

“MDHHS is committed to improving the health of pregnant and postpartum people, their babies and their families through birth equity,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Equity is the framework that guides and informs all recommended actions in the new plan. Advancing Healthy Births outlines concrete actions to better serve Michigan families, with a special focus on improving care for Black families and other marginalized communities who frequently experience barriers to care.”

The Advancing Healthy Births plan was developed in consultation with Michigan families and other maternal-infant health experts in the state. Twelve Town Hall events were hosted by Michigan’s Regional Perinatal Quality Collaboratives to collect community insights and ideas about improving health in our state. The Advancing Healthy Births plan continues the work started by the Mother Infant Health & Equity Improvement Plan (2020 – 2023) and is the next step in working toward an equitable Michigan.

The plan requires statewide action from all Michiganders and includes the following goals to show improved health for Michigan families by 2028:

  • Reduce infant mortality rate to six deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • Reduce eclampsia rate to 5.6 cases per 10,000 hospital deliveries.
  • Reduce teen birth rate to nine births per 1,000 females ages 15-19.
  • Increase number of Michigan doulas trained and on the MDHHS Doula Registry to 500.
  • Increase number of hospitals fully implementing the Severe Hypertension in Pregnancy Safety Bundle (MI AIM) to 90%.

The strategies to address these goals are outlined in the plan and include increasing services, expanding access, promoting best practices, expanding resources and support and provider training and education. Results will be evaluated using a combination of numerical data and personal stories from Michigan families.

The plan also provides an update on recent achievements in the care of pregnant people and infants, including doula services being eligible for Medicaid reimbursement, Medicaid coverage extended for the 12-month postpartum period, infant safe sleep certification program for EMS agencies and fire departments, and vaccine hesitancy education.

View the Advancing Healthy Births plan and discover how you can help work towards improving outcomes for families in Michigan.

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