Reducing Infant Mortality

All babies deserve the chance to thrive.

Making a Collective Impact

We established the Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative in 2013 to address the disproportionately high rates of infant death in portions of St. Louis and the six counties that make up Missouri’s Bootheel. Through the use of a collective impact framework, we are actively engaging community members and key stakeholders in the planning and implementation of equity-focused infant mortality reduction strategies.

Why it matters:

Infant mortality is defined as the death of a child in their first year of life. Between 2002 and 2012, more than 6,200 Missouri babies were lost before their first birthday. One-third of those deaths occurred in the Bootheel and St. Louis alone. Infant mortality is a complex issue, influenced by a variety of factors such as the health of mothers before and during pregnancy, premature birth, and socioeconomic status. These deaths take an emotional and financial toll not just on the grieving families, but on the community as a whole.

How we’re changing things:

Collective impact guides collaboration by ensuring that organizations and communities work together to maximize their results. By bringing everyone to the table, we are developing new solutions, finding unlikely partners, and engaging the community as a whole. The result? A better future for Missouri’s tiniest citizens.

Learn more about collective impact and what it means to provide backbone support.

Meet our Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative collaborative efforts:
Bootheel Babies and Families

initiative start: 2013

A 15 percent reduction in infant mortality rates in St. Louis and the Bootheel over a 10-year period.

Our partners are joining forces to address the complex causes of infant mortality.
600 infants
die every year on average in Missouri.
33% of infant deaths
in the state of Missouri occur in St. Louis or the Bootheel.
$180 million
in taxpayer money is spent yearly on premature births in Missouri.
community-based backbone organizations help lead the initiative.

Kathleen Holmes

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

(314) 345-5572

Volyia “Terry” Plain

Senior Strategist - Initiatives

(314) 345-5542