The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health along with community partners launched a new plan to address inequities in infant mortality rates and improve health of mothers and newborns in the county, according to a Friday news release. The new strategy seeks to significantly reduce the Black-White inequality in infant mortality by 30% in five years. “Birth outcomes differ sharply based on the race and ethnicity of residents, with the sharpest difference occurring between White and Asian women and Black women,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Research shows the root cause of infant health inequality lies in the differing social experiences and access to resources of their mothers. It points to stress, including stress associated with poverty and racism, as the link between a mother’s race/ethnicity or community of residence and the health of her baby.” The infant mortality rate in LA County was four infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016. Black infants died more than three times the rate of White and Asian infants, 10.4 compared to 3.2 and 2.0 respectively, and more than two times the rate of Latino infants, 3.9 infant deaths in LA County, according to the release. The plan calls for work with community coalitions that can tailor the broad, county-wide approaches to meet local needs. The plan reflects years of partnership and discussion with state and and county agencies and community residents. Key features of the plan include strategies that: • Reduce the chronic stress faced by Black women due to economic hardship and the daily experience of racism. • Improve the experiences of Black women receiving county services by offering implicit bias training to all county employees. • Enhance clinical services for Black women that are known to improve healthy births. For more information about the five-year action plan, visit: https://publichealth.lacounty.gov The above information was obtained by The Signal via a news release provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.