The March edition of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Program’s Issue Brief highlights the great strides Arizona has made in decreasing neonatal deaths since the inception of our High Risk Perinatal Program/Newborn Intensive Care Program. When the program started in the 1970s, 1.8% of neonates died within a month of being born.  As a result of a host of Maternal and Child Health interventions over the last 40 years, that percentage has dropped to about 0.4%.  

One key component includes using community health nurses to follow and support families as they transition from the hospital to home.  Community health nurses do developmental, physical and environmental assessments, provide education and guidance to families, and direct families to programs and services. While in the home, the community health nurses can also asses other children and screen mothers for postpartum wellness. This is a great example of how long-term public health programs can have a significant impact on the overall health of the people of Arizona. This national report highlights Arizona’s programs as well as programs in California, Colorado and Utah.