$14.4 million in federal grants to Michigan for child home visiting programs

Oct 30, 2013

Michigan is getting $14.4 million for a program that does home visits for pregnant women and new mothers. A key goal is to reduce infant mortality. 

The Michigan Department of Community Health will use the money for prevention-focused home visits in at-risk communities. 

Michigan's infant mortality rate is above the national average.  Fourteen out of every 1,000 African American babies in Michigan die before they reach their first birthday. That is three times more than white babies.

Nancy Peeler is with the Michigan Department of Community Health.

She said the money will make it possible to add 625 new families to those already being served by home visiting programs.

Peeler says the home visits try to reduce infant mortality and promote maternal, infant, and early childhood health.  

"Some of these models are also very successful at helping to address school readiness and reduce child maltreatment or domestic violence, support families to be economically self-sufficient, and really support a strong linkage with other community resources," said Peeler. She said important factors for a healthy pregnancy are access to health care, prenatal visits and adequate nutrition. 

Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom