By: Michelle Taylor, M.D., M.S.
Deputy Administrator for Maternal and Child Health Program
Shelby County Health Department
The Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative (IMRI) is a collaborative of civic, government, non-profit, academic, and community leaders united in fighting infant mortality. Infant mortality is the death of a baby before his/her first birthday. The IMRI team, as a group of concerned leaders and residents of Shelby County, are committed to working on reducing infant deaths in the county by looking at the factors that may contribute to the infant mortality rate (the number of infant deaths before age 1 per 1,000 live births). These factors include prenatal care access, smoking during pregnancy, sudden unexplained infant death (SUID), preterm births, low birth weight births, short period of time between births, and low breastfeeding rates. By examining these and other factors over the last several years, the Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative has sought to increase awareness of infant mortality in Shelby County and encourage community engagement in the work of reducing infant mortality. The IMRI team consists of representatives from the following organizations:
Just Care Family Network
Life Communications, LLC
Rangeline Neighborhood Community Development Corporation