Nurture KC Hot Topics, News September 4, 2020

How race affects infant mortality

Infant mortality rates have declined, but racial disparities still exist. Tracy Russell, of Nurture KC, and Dr. Traci Johnson, of Truman Medical Centers, share how to bridge that gap in this in-depth story by KCTV-5. Data from the National Academy of Sciences and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show Black babies are 2 to 3 times more likely to survive when cared for by Black doctors. It’s not necessarily intentional racism at work; rather cultural and racial similarities can help doctors recognize subtle cues that can lead to lives saved.

Russell says expanding Medicaid in Missouri also will allow better access to healthcare. “States that have expanded Medicaid have a 50% greater reduction in infant mortality than in states that fail to act,” she said.