11:59 AM EDT, August 1, 2012
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Community Health has released its plan to reduce and prevent infant mortality in the state.
The agency made the announcement Wednesday at Hurley Medical Center in Flint.
According to state health officials, five out of every 1,000 white babies and seven out of every 1,000 Hispanic infants die before their first birthdays. Among Michigan's black population, the infant mortality rate is 14 out of every 1,000 babies born.
In its Infant Mortality Reduction Plan, the MDCH refers to the issue as a "public health crisis."
The plan calls for implementing a regional perinatal system, promoting safer infant sleeping practices to prevent suffocation and expanding home-visiting programs to support vulnerable women and infants.