Collective Impact Backbone


The U.S. has one of the highest rates of infant mortality of all industrialized nations. Determined to help more babies reach their first birthday and beyond, in 2012, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau began a regionally based initiative to improve maternity rates in the U.S. Although regions shared a common goal, each had its own strategies. There was limited interaction or collaboration, creating inefficiency in tackling the complex issue of infant mortality.


We were selected to lead a Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (IM CoIIN) to unite 53 U.S. states and jurisdictions into one national initiative. Serving as the backbone organization for the initiative, we provide the necessary support—such as shared aims, technical assistance, quality improvement education and online collaboration tools—to enable state teams to collaborate, innovate and use quality improvement to test new solutions, use data to track results and work jointly on six key strategy areas.


  • More than 1,800 maternal and child health leaders participate in NICHQ’s proprietary online collaboration tool to share resources, best practices and ideas, as well as report and track improvement data.
  • IM CoIIN unites an array of partners including AMCHP, ASTHO, the March of Dimes, as well as federal agencies and individual experts to tackle this national priority.
  • State teams are utilizing Medicaid data to support their maternal and child health activities, many for the first time.

Black baby in the NICU at the hospital

Saving Babies: Reducing Infant Mortality

In this video from the IM CoIIN project, hear success stories and strategies being used to reduce infant mortality and eliminate racial disparities in cities, counties and towns across the U.S.