Public Health Impact Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes
Milwaukee's fetal and infant mortality rates are among the highest in the country. From 2005 to 2008, there were 308 fetal deaths in Milwaukee and 499 infant deaths1. Poor birth outcomes are associated with low socioeconomic status, including education and income. Milwaukee has extremely high rates of poverty and low rates of high school graduation. The stress of living in poverty has been associated with prematurity and low birth weight, both drivers of infant mortality.
Milwaukee's 2009 to 2011 infant mortality rate for African-Americans was 14.5 per 1,000 births compared to 5.0 per 1,000 birth for white infants1.
The Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health has created a Public Health Impact Initiative, a collaborative effort between the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Zilber School of Public Health, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, and other partners, and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The initiative is composed of multiple components, all of which are focused on improving birth outcomes in Milwaukee.
- Encouraging Safe Sleeping and Healthy Births
- Creating a Data Infrastructure to Support Practice and Innovation
- Intervening to Enhance Healthy Births
Through these activities, the Public Health Impact Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes has brought together University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee faculty across several disciplines, as well as a wide array of public and nonprofit Milwaukee-based organizations, including:
- Aurora Health Care
- Center for Quality Community Life
- Center for Urban Population Health
- Children's Community Health Plan
- Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin
- City of Milwaukee Health Department
- COA Youth and Family Centers
- Columbia St. Mary's
- Downtown Health Center
- Hope Network
- House of Peace Nursing Clinic
- Infant Death Center of Wisconsin
- Jump at the Sun Consultants, LLC
- Medical College of Wisconsin
- Milwaukee Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Case Review Team
- Milwaukee Health Services, Inc.
- Pro-HealthCare - Waukesha Memorial
- SERVE Marketing (a not-for-profit, public service marketing firm)
- Sixteenth Street Community Health Center
- United Way of Greater Milwaukee
- West Allis Health Department
- Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph Hospital
- Wisconsin Public Health Association
- Wisconsin Center for Health Equity
Ron A. Cisler, PhD*
Director, Center for Urban Population Health
Professor, UW-Milwaukee College of Health Sciences
Professor, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health
Eric Gass, PhD
Public Health Research and Policy Director, City of Milwaukee Health Department
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Zilber School of Public Health
Geoffrey R. Swain, MD, MPH
Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer, City of Milwaukee Health Department
Associate Director, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health
In addition to overseeing the currently-funded projects under this initiative, the leadership team is working to build a sustainable collaborative that can work to address other public health issues in the Milwaukee area.
1Data Source: City of Milwaukee Health Department
*Stephen L. Percy, Ph.D., former Acting Dean, Zilber School of Public Health, was the original Project Director of this initiative.