Infant Mortality and Racism

On Friday, April 30, 2010, the UIC Maternal and Child Health Program and the UIC Mid-America Public Health Training Center collaborated to host a workshop entitled:  Infant Mortality and Racism Action Learning Collaborative:  Community Recommendations For Reducing Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality.

Our incredibly gifted speaker and expert was Laura Kasehagen, MA, PhD, CDC Senior MCH Epidemiologist, CDC/ONDIEH/NCCDPHP/DRH/ASB/MCH Epidemiology Program, Assignee to CityMatCH, University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Dr. Kasehagen discussed an integrated mixed methods approach called Concept Mapping and how the methodology was applied to better understand how participant communities may engage in activities to decrease racial disparities in infant mortality.  With participation from members of a diverse Collaborative, a series of statements was generated from the following prompt:  “One specific action a community could take to decrease racial disparities in infant mortality is….”

Dr. Kasehagen shared with us some initial findings from the research generated by Collaborative efforts as well recommendations to address the impact of racism on birth outcomes.  The Collaborative continues to analyze and interpret data from this work.

Over 50 local MCH academic and practice professionals participated in this workshop either in-person or via webcast.  An audio of the presentation and slides are available at:

NOTE: when you access the presentation/slides, it will download Saba Centra which allows you to access the audio/slides.


Participants were very excited about this workshop and are currently exploring ways to keep the high energy and passion around these topics alive in Chicago.   Exciting next steps to follow!  If you are interested in learning more about next steps (or helping to develop next steps), please let us know by contacting Jaime Klaus at