Reducing Infant and Maternal Mortality Rate in the Boston Area

Presenter: Ama Edusei

Research Category: Health Sciences
College: Bouve College of Health Sciences
Major(s): Health Science
Graduation Date: 2021

In 2017, the infant mortality rate for black babies was 7.4 per 1,000 live births which is higher when compared to white babies that have a 3.5 per 1,000 live births within the Boston area. The overall issue that I want to focus on is infant maternal mortality and morbidity by addressing three key social determinants of health which are food insecurity, safe housing, and transportation. These three factors are what can cause a severe amount of stress in expecting mothers and the developing fetus.

In this project, I aim to identify best practices to reduce stress which could have an impact on the pregnancy outcomes of African American women within the Boston area. The goal of Brigham and WomenÕs Hospitals and its collaborators is to implement practical solutions to increase the chances that expecting mothers have a safe delivery. I conducted several key informant interviews with directors from Healthy Baby Healthy Child Program, Bridges to Moms, and Stronger Generations. I inquired about what programs are available to address the three key social determinants of health and how these programs were able to reduce stress. Then, I will conduct a focus group of women who have received these services and see if they were beneficial in practice.

Thus far I have not conducted the focus group but from the interviews, I was able to establish that most Boston-based hospitals have programs that are accommodating to these three social determinants of health.