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Delaware Healthy Mother & Infant Consortium

The Delaware Healthy Mother & Infant Consortium (DHMIC) provides statewide leadership and coordination of efforts to prevent infant and maternal mortality and improve the health of women of childbearing age and infants throughout Delaware.

The DHMIC Announces New Members

New members join the state organization dedicated to preventing infant and maternal mortality.

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Become a committee member

Committee membership is open to organizations and individuals whose missions do not conflict with DHMIC priorities.

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In 2004, Governor Minner had a simple question: Why is it, she asked, that early entry into prenatal care for pregnant women in Delaware is at an all-time high, and yet there was no improvement in our dismal infant mortality rate? Not satisfied with the answers she was getting, the Governor signed Executive Order # 52 on June 2, 2004, to establish the Infant Mortality Task Force (IMTF). The Governor charged the Task Force to advise her of strategies to reduce infant mortality in Delaware. Additionally, she asked that the IMTF develop broad-based recommendations that are based on scientific evidence, defined partnerships, and expected contribution with timelines. Finally, she asked that the Task Force submit its report to her within nine months.

In May 2005, the IMTF presented its report, titled “Reducing Infant Mortality in Delaware — Recommendations of the Infant Mortality Task Force”, to the Governor with 20 recommendations on how to improve birth outcomes in Delaware. Recommendation #3 noted that at other times in the history of the state, the infant mortality rate (IMR) had drawn the attention of one administration or another. There had been organized efforts to bring the IMR under control. A subsequent administration saw the progress made and moved resources from that effort to address a different challenge. Over time, the IMR went back up. And the cycle would start all over again. To prevent that cycle from continuing, the Task Force called for a successor organization to oversee the implementation of the recommendations and continue to advocate for resources to sustain the effort across administrations. The Delaware Healthy Mother & Infant Contortion (DHMIC) is the successor organization called for by recommendation #3.

On January 26, 2006, the legislature responded to the recommendations by establishing the DHMIC in Delaware Code as the successor organization.

Delaware’s infant mortality rate was among the highest in the nation when the DHMIC was created. Hidden within that mortality rate was a significant racial disparity, as African American infants were more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday than Caucasian infants. The solution is for women, without regard to race or ethnicity, to be in optimal health before pregnancy. When women enter pregnancy with tobacco use, uncontrolled chronic disease, or unmanaged stress, in many cases, prenatal care has limited impact on improving their outcomes. Helping women be healthy and change unhealthy behaviors is only one part of the solution. Infant mortality is an indicator of the health of the community, which can directly or indirectly affect each of us.


DHMIC Bylaws

The Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium (DHMIC) will provide statewide leadership and coordination of efforts to prevent infant and maternal mortality and improve the health of women of childbearing age and infants throughout Delaware.

DHMIC Governor-appointed Members

Priscilla Mpasi, M.D., FAAP

Chair of the DHMIC, Chair of the Maternal and Infant Morbidity/Mortality Committee

Tiffany Chalk

Vice-Chair of the DHMIC, Chair of the Well Woman/Black Maternal Health Committee

Garrett Colmorgen, M.D.

Chair of the Delaware Perinatal Quality Collaborative

Forrest Watson III

Agnes Richardson, PhD

Logan Herring

Marshala Lee-McCall, M.D., MPH, FAAFP

Bridget Buckaloo, MSN, RN

Marie Pinkney, State Senator

Bryant Richardson, State Senator

Melissa Minor-Brown, State Representative

Chair of the Doula Ad Hoc Committee and Chair of the Social Determinants of Health Committee

Ray Fitzgerald, J.D.

Co-Chair of the Social Determinants of Health Committee

Julius Mullen Sr., Ed.D, LPCMH, NCC

Lindsay Ashkenase, M.D.

Valerie Jones Giltner, State Representative

Alethea Miller, DNP, MSN, RN, CLC

Emily Hershman, Representative of the office of the Governor

Strategic Initiatives for health: Mother holding a baby and smiling

Strategic Initiatives

DHMIC’s approach includes planning with the community, thinking holistically about women’s health, and addressing intergenerational health. We support a continuum of services promoting optimal health, from birth throughout the lifespan, from one generation to the next.
Delaware Perinatal Quality Collaborative: Pregnant mom sitting on bed holding her belly

Delaware Perinatal Quality Collaborative

The Delaware Perinatal Quality Collaborative’s goal is to improve the care of mothers and babies. It focuses on obstetrical blood-loss management, pregnant women with substance use disorder, and evidence-based clinical practices.

Health Equality vs. Health Equity

We should all have an equal opportunity to achieve health and well-being. We can accomplish that by eliminating the systemic inequities surrounding those who are disadvantaged due to poverty, physical or mental disability, race, or any other trait or situation that creates a barrier to living a healthy life.

Kitty Esterly, MD, Health Equity Champion Award

A community health equity champion is any person or organization that goes the extra mile to improve health and well-being throughout Delaware. We want to make sure they get the recognition they deserve! This award is given annually to both an individual and an organization.

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Annual Summits

Access a wealth of information surrounding maternal and child health issues and challenges by attending our annual summits or viewing prior summit presentations. Expertise on inclusion, health equity, maternal health improvement, and more, is presented by local and national authorities.

Resource Center

Latest: Healthy Women Healthy Babies Years 1-3 Evaluation Report

Latest: Healthy Women Healthy Babies Years 1-3 Evaluation Report

Delaware community and place-based interventions to drive health equity in infant and maternal health.

We have compiled a collection of resources about the health of women, infants, and families:


Examples of Delaware Thrives resources: posters, brochures, facts sheets

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Free Resources

Need posters, brochures, fact sheets, and more? We have materials to help you share information for every life stage.
Kay Johnson, President, Johnson Group Consulting, Inc
Reproductive justice will be attained when all people have the economic, social, and political power and the means to make decisions about their bodies, sexuality, health, and families.
Kay Johnson, President, Johnson Group Consulting, Inc.

© 2024. Delaware Division of Public Health.