Pictured above from left: Lucy Gibson, Vinita Leedom, Katy Wynne, Lisa Hobbs, Blosmeli Leon, Beth De Santis, Jade Durham, and Berry Kelly. DHEC’s Birth Outcomes Initiative group includes representatives from Maternal and Child Health, Community Health and Chronic Disease Prevention, Disease Control and Public Health Statistics and Information Services.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently recognized South Carolina’s dedication to improving the health of moms and babies through the S.C. Birth Outcomes Initiative (BOI).
Led by S.C. Department of Health and Human Services, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the S.C. Hospital Association, BOI is a multi-stakeholder collaborative aimed at improving birth outcomes. The group also includes representatives from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of S.C. and the S.C. Chapter of the March of Dimes.
Since 2011, the BOI has helped lower the state’s infant mortality rate to a record low of 6.5 out of every 1,000 births as of 2014.
“The BOI has been the kind of collaborative environment that has brought together every entity in the state that can improve the health of our moms and babies,” said Beth De Santis, director of DHEC’s Bureau of Maternal and Child Health. “With this level of cooperation, success happens. The health of our citizens is the goal, and we are definitely reaching those goals!”
Monthly meetings draw a diverse group of health care professionals, including obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, pediatricians, nurses, midwives, non-profit statewide and community-based organizations, insurance companies, university faculty and behavioral health experts. The group strives to improve the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy, as well as during early infancy.
DHEC staff involved in BOI include: Beth De Santis (Vision Team), Lisa Hobbs (primary DHEC liaison, Quality and Patient Safety work group), Stephanie Derr (Care Coordination work group), Blosmeli Leon (Health Disparities work group), Katy Wynne (Behavioral Health work group), Daniela Nitcheva (Data and Research work group), WIC staff (Baby-Friendly work group), Mike Smith (Data and Research work group), Lucy Gibson (Care Coordination work group), DHEC’s Office of Minority Health (Disparities work group), and Dr. Teresa Foo and Immunization nurse consultants (Quality/Safety work group).
For more information, visit www.scdhhs.gov/organizations/boi.