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 From the President

9 Cs of CoIIN

By Millie Jones, MPH

I just returned from a two-day meeting with my maternal and child health (MCH) partners from Regions IV, V and VI where we shared and learned from one another in the development of the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to reduce infant mortality. The goal of CoIIN is to facilitate collaborative learning and adoption of proven quality improvement principles and practices to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcome. These activities are underway in three of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) regions with plans to implement nationwide.

I had the honor of moderating one of the fantastic sessions held over the two-day meeting. Drs. Brenda Fitzgerald (the Georgia commissioner and state health officer) and Michael Warren (the Tennessee Title V MCH director) shared their lessons learned in region IV CoIIN work in their respective states. The following reflects my take away from their discussion and opportunities to infuse into the work we have just begun in Region V.

Clusters – Data drove the decisions of where to place resources.

Collaborative – The very backbone of the initiative must be formed on partnerships – public and private.

Community is both the source of engagement and the site for intervention. Community members remind us all the time – Nothing about us without us!

Several examples of community programming included:

  1. Centering Healthcare – Centering Pregnancy is a program that brings pregnant women together to learn care skills, participate in facilitated discussion and develop a support network pages/centering-model/pregnancy-overview.php.
  2. Cessation for smoking intervention.
  3. CEO – Get the sponsorship and buy-in, including the signed letters of support, from our corporate and private partners.

Coordinator – Having a staff person designated to oversee the implementation can be critical to the establishment and maintenance of momentum in taking on a statewide initiative to address infant mortality.

Celebrate/Count your successes – What a great reminder to us all to stop and count and celebrate all we do. It is important to increase awareness of the good things happening with the community.

CQI – Continuous quality improvement gives us a process for ongoing review, assessment and tweaking of our plans and action.

We in MCH often talk about how the infant mortality rate is used as an indicator of a nation’s health. The CoIIN raises the awareness, the need and the importance for us to address the disparities in infant mortality rates in our country. CoIIN is the opportunity for a MOVEMENT for CHANGING HEALTH OUTCOMES. We can and must do better for all of our citizens.