HEALTHY MOMS- HEALTHY BABIES- HEALTHY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE: CONCEPT MAPPING AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS BELIEFS ON THE IMPACT OF RACISM ON INFANT MORTALITY

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2013-04-12

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Malone, Kendra

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Purpose: Tarrant County has among the highest rates of infant mortality in Texas. Despite national efforts to eliminate racial disparities in infant mortality, the rate of infant mortality among African Americans significantly exceeds the rate of white, Mexican and Native Americans with similar socio-demographic factors. Research shows racism, mediated through stress, accounts for this disproportionality in infant mortality. Through participation in a Kellogg Foundation Action Learning Collaborative, the Healthy Moms - Healthy Babies - Healthy Community Initiative aims to reduce infant mortality through community engagement, focusing specifically on the impact of racism. The Texas Department of State Health Services funded this concept mapping project. Methods: Concept mapping is a multi-pronged, community-based process that includes brainstorming one issue, rating responses, sorting into themes, and computer-based spatial grouping. Community members from areas of Fort Worth with the highest rates of infant mortality were invited to generate ideas of how the community could decrease racial disparities in infant mortality. Ideas were rated on participation, impact, and time to implement change. Results: Seventy-two community members produced 289 statements for review, with 133 statements used for rating. Twelve actionable themes emerged: 1) connect people to resources 2) healthy environments from birth to old age 3) create partnerships among existing programs or new community programs 4) raise socioeconomic opportunities through educational incentives 5) build relationships within and outside the community 6) increase access to life skills education 7) increase parenting education 8) renew community structures 9) improve access to healthy foods 10) focus on strengths and reduce weaknesses within the community 11) empower the community to set and keep standards 12) break the cycle of race-connected social stigmas. Results were presented to community members for feedback and consensus. Conclusions: Concept mapping identified the community's priorities for reducing percieved racial impacts on infant mortality. The H3 team is currently looking for more avenues to connect community members to new and existing resources. Other findings emerging from the concept mapping project will be used to implement interventions to decrease racial disparities in infant mortality.

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