A Practical Approach to Keep Stakeholders Engaged

Factsheets Are Helping Wisconsin Build and Maintain Support for their Infant Health Work

When it comes to building and maintaining support for its ongoing infant mortality reduction efforts, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health has a practical solution: repackage and re-share. 

Staff members created three factsheets, one for each of the key strategies (pre and interconception care, safe sleep and social determinants of health) they are focused on in the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (Infant Mortality CoIIN). Their goal is to raise awareness for the work with the public and the Division’s key stakeholders.

“The work we do can be abstract. We wanted to ground our IM CoIIN work in these three factsheets so we have a simple explanation of what we are doing,” says Patrice Onheiber, MPA, director of Equity in Birth Outcomes at the Division.

Wisconsin has been addressing equity in birth outcomes for more than 10 years and joined the regional IM CoIIN in 2013. In 2014, IM CoIIN transitioned to a national initiative using six key strategies to improve infant mortality rates and reduce disparities: pre- and early-term birth, pre and interconception care, risk appropriate perinatal care, safe sleep, smoking cessation, and social determinants of health. The IM CoIIN provided Wisconsin an opportunity to re-energize its work and message.

Developing new, simplified factsheets gave the Wisconsin team a new reason to reach out to state leaders and get their support. The factsheets have also helped the team to reach out to new stakeholders and disseminate information from the pregnancy risk assessment monitoring system (PRAMS), which collects valuable information that isn’t available elsewhere about mother’s perceptions and experiences before, during and shortly after pregnancy.

“When we reach out to folks we haven’t worked with yet we can link to these and say, ‘this is the work we are doing. How we can collaborate with the work you are doing,’” says Onheiber.

The factsheets contain a description of the key strategy, what the team is doing to address the topic, an explanation about infant mortality, state mortality rates, a description of the IM CoIIN initiative, and a call to get involved.

“The work is so multifaceted. I think these factsheets help make it concrete,” says Onheiber. “We definitely wanted to keep it succinct and highlight one topic, but work is needed in all areas to make a difference on equity.”