The Child Fatality Task Force is a legislative study commission and the policy arm of the state’s Child Fatality Prevention System. This system also includes the State Child Fatality Prevention Team, as well as Local Child Fatality and Community Protection Teams. Since creation of the system in 1991, the rate of child deaths in North Carolina has decreased by 46%.
Click here to view the most current annual report and legislative agenda. (COMING SOON)
The Child Fatality Task Force taps a broad range of expertise and resources to formulate its recommendations. Three committees meet to study data, hear from experts, and prepare recommendations for consideration by the full Task Force. These include intentional death, unintentional death and perinatal health. Belinda Pettiford and Sarah Verbiest co-chair the Perinatal Health Committee – click here to access minutes and presentations for meetings.
During the 2015-2016 study cycle, the Task Force had a total of eleven meetings, including seven committee meetings and four full Task Force meetings where attendees heard more than fifty presentations. Experts and leaders presenting to the Task Force represented state and local agencies, academic institutions, as well as state and community programs.
The Perinatal Health Committee
Currently Co-Chaired by Sarah Verbiest (CMIH) and Belinda Pettiford (NC DHHS, DPH, Women’s Health Branch), this committee is tasked with developing strategies and recommendations to address infant mortality. After an extensive, multi-year, collaborative process, a new 10-year North Carolina Perinatal Strategic Plan was released in March 2016. Based on the 12 Point Plan to Close the Black-White Gap in Birth Outcomes by Lu et al, the plan proposes life-course centered, evidence-based strategies across three domains: healthcare, strengthening families & communities, and addressing social and economic inequities. The plan will be reviewed by the Perinatal Health Committee annually, to assess progress, revise and expand as the work progresses. A Link to the full plan is COMING SOON.
Strategic Plan Development
Inventory and Summary of Existing Qualitative Data in North Carolina (2005 SIM)
A total of 25 Qualitative Data Activities were cataloged according to the five Geographic Perinatal Regions (Western, Triad, Southwestern, Northwestern, and Eastern). A significant number of qualitative data activities have been conducted in the Eastern region due to their high rates in infant mortality. In addition there have been numerous interventions implemented in this area of the state. Qualitative Data is lacking from the Southeast and Southwest Regions as these are areas with low infant mortality rates.
The findings from qualitative data gathered in North Carolina over the past ten years were summarized, analyzed and cataloged in May 2005. As part of these studies, hundreds of providers, consumers, and community leaders participated in discussions about a broad range of issues pertaining to women’s health and infant mortality. Based on the content that emerged from these studies, the data were organized into five categories and recommendations were made for each category. A sample of significant factors and recommendations is listed below.
1. General Health Factors
Perceptions of Preventive Healthcare, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Healthy Weight, Use of Vitamins (folic acid) Recommendations: improve and simplify access to health services, educate women about preventive health in public schools, churches, and in communities
2. Lifestyle Factors
Stress, Social Support, Substance Use, Domestic Violence, Role of Men in Women’s LivesRecommendations: Extend health clinic hours for working mothers, mandate a living wage, improve health literacy of education material
3. Socioeconomic Factors
Poverty, Education, Access to Healthcare, Insurance, Medicaid Eligibility, Job Loss, Child Care, Transportation Recommendations: Involve men/partners throughout pregnancy, provide support groups to deal with relationship issues, pregnancy, and motherhood, educate about healthy eating habits, develop alternative activities for drug use, teach time-management to prevent stress
4. Family Planning Factors
Beliefs about Contraceptive Use, Intendedness of Pregnancy, Access to Family Planning ServicesRecommendations: Educate about the importance of birth spacing, discuss birth control options throughout health system (not just post-partum) and include women’s partners in the discussion
5. Other Factors
Customer Service Issues, Patient/Provider Trust, Disconnected Systems that Serve Women (health, housing, insurance, child care) Recommendations: Increase availability of affordable and available childcare, eliminate racism, raise community awareness concerning maternal and infant health, use media campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles and healthy pregnancies
Equity in Birth Outcomes Council
This project will create a framework for a comprehensive approach to reducing health disparities in North Carolina. It will also develop and implement a research agenda for NC for addressing birth outcome inequities. This project is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as a U13 Academic-Community Partnership Conference grant.
Currently the project has begun to develop a multi-disciplinary, multi-faceted, statewide Advisory Council. The first meeting was held on October 20, 2011 at the William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill. Over 40 people attended the meeting and 20 others asked to participate even though they were unable to attend the meeting. To view the meeting agenda, please click here. To view slides presented by Dr. Diane Rowley, please click here. To view slides presented by Belinda Pettiford, please click here. To review the meeting summary notes, please click here. To view a full list of the comments from the break out groups and green sheets, please click here.
A smaller group of individuals in the Advisory Council volunteered to serve on the Council’s planning / leadership team. This group will meet in early January 2012. A full Council meeting is anticipated in February / March 2012. A statewide “listening tour” will launch in March and will include a series of presentations and conversations with key stakeholder groups. We will send out monthly updates to Council members.
We have compiled a logic model for this project. To view it, please click here.
To review slides and notes from the Perinatal Health Committee (of the Child Fatality Task Force)Three-Part Series on Disparities in Birth Outcomes click here