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Keywords

Capacity Building; Community Engagement; Child Health; Health Disparities; Health Communication; Health Equity; Infant Mortality; Maternal Health; Minority Health; Multisectoral Partnerships; Participatory Planning; Preconception Health; Social Innovation; Strategic Planning; User-Centered Design

Abstract

Infant mortality rate (IMR) is an important indicator of progress toward health equity and socio-economic development. Despite progress, the US is ranked 45th among 192 countries in IMR, with non-Hispanic black IMR 2.2 times that of non-Hispanic white rates, and higher than average IMR in Native American populations. The Preconception Peer Educators (PPE) program of the U.S. DHHS Office of Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC) aims to raise awareness about IMR disparities in African Americans, and to promote preconception health behaviors among women of childbearing age and sexually active men. Building upon this program, this report focuses on lessons learned from a capacity-building and participatory planning pilot program designed and implemented in 4 US cities by Health Equity Initiative in collaboration with the OMHRC to encourage multisectoral partnerships, and engage local leaders and organizations in participatory planning and infant mortality prevention.