Improving Health Equity and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes

This maternal and infant health project helps community-based organizations and agencies improve health equity and outcomes for mothers and infants in New York City neighborhoods with the greatest health disparities.

Maternal mortality and its racial and ethnic disparities are increasingly recognized as public health crises in New York City. In some ZIP codes, the maternal mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black women is 12 times that of non-Hispanic white women. Significant racial and ethnic disparities in maternal morbidity remain even after controlling for differences in prenatal care, health insurance, socioeconomic status, education, and other characteristics. With support, community-based organizations and agencies are well situated to help women across the city achieve better maternal health outcomes.

The initiative

CAI’s Improving Health Equity and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes Through Community-Based Activities project helps providers and organizations improve health equity and outcomes through access to high-quality health education, case management, referrals, and health screenings.

The project brings together 12 agencies across New York City to deliver intensive interventions to neighborhoods with the greatest disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes. These include:

  • Support groups in the dominant spoken language
  • Case management programs
  • One-to-one education and workshops
  • Referrals to food banks, mental health services, job training programs, and housing assistance

CAI provides training and technical assistance to help agencies implement best practices in six key areas: breastfeeding, infant safety, women’s health, family planning, mental health and wellness, and emergency preparedness. We designed 11 workshops on these topics, available for in-person and virtual delivery, and five topic-specific session guides for providing tailored one-to-one health education.

CAI also leads monitoring and evaluation for all project activities, conducting on-site technical assistance visits, and maintaining a data hub. Our team analyzes project data to identify trends to help agencies identify new opportunities for outreach, program implementation, and capacity building.

The impact

This project improves the health outcomes of pregnant and parenting women and children in specific ZIP codes in all five boroughs. We work with grassroots and community-based organizations that reflect the clients they are striving to reach as a strategy to authentically engage priority populations. By providing culturally relevant and responsive resources to families, this project is helping increase health literacy, strengthen safety nets, and create healthier communities.

Project funder and key partners

  • Funder: New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
  • Key partner: Public Health Solutions

Leadership and contact

Clare Friedrich, MIH Project Director: