Partnership to address infant mortality in New Haven


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  Connecticut Department of Public Health

June 28, 2011                                                 Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                       (860) 509-7270



Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced it was chosen to participate in the Partnership to Eliminate Disparities in Infant Mortality (PEDIM) Action Learning Collaborative, a national initiative to address disparities in infant mortality in urban areas of the country.


DPH, along with the New Haven Health Department and New Haven Healthy Start, were chosen for the project, which is sponsored by CityMatCH, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), and the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA).


“We are very excited to begin working with our partners on this very important initiative,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “By working to eliminate disparities in infant mortality, we are giving the children of Connecticut the equal chance at life they deserve.”


According to state health officials, there were 240 infant deaths reported in the state in 2008. Of those deaths, nearly 30% of the infants were African-American and 24% were Hispanic. The 2010 United States Census reported that African-Americans make up approximately 10% and Hispanics make up 13.4% of Connecticut’s population. The city of New Haven has the highest infant mortality rate in the state. 


In 2008, CityMatCH, AMCHP and NHSA, with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, created the Partnership to Eliminate Disparities in Infant Mortality, to eliminate racial inequities contributing to infant mortality within urban areas in the United States. This initiative brings together multi-disciplinary state and local teams to strengthen partnerships, build community participation and develop innovative strategies for addressing racial inequities in infant mortality. 


Selected teams are expected to combine their knowledge of evidence-based practices with local knowledge and problem solving, to move beyond what has typically been done to address infant mortality. Creativity will be encouraged, and participating teams must be willing to be innovative in addressing challenges related to racial inequities in infant mortality, including the impacts of racism.


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.  To contact the department, please visit its website at  or call (860) 509-7270.