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Health Department

Fetal and Infant Mortality Review

Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) is community-based process that examines the factors and issues that influence fetal and infant mortality in our community. The mission of FIMR is to identify and create systemic change that result in the reduction of fetal and infant mortality death.  FIMR aims to inspire community changes that result in more women being healthy when they become pregnant, therefore increasing their chance of having a positive pregnancy outcome. FIMR is a tool that helps the community implement changes designed to address the needs of the society’s youngest population.

Contact Lillian Maddox-Whitehead, MS, at (615) 340-0552.

Fetal Infant Mortality Review Objectives:

  • To examine the social, economic, cultural, safety and health system factors that are associated with fetal and infant mortality through review of individual cases;
  • To plan a series of interventions and policies to address these factors to improve service systems and community resources;
  • To participate in the implementation of community-based interventions and policies; and;
  • To assess the progress of the interventions.

Why does Nashville/Davidson County need FIMR?

Nashville/Davidson County has a high infant mortality rate.  Infant mortality rate (IMR) is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births. IMR is a key indicator often used to measure the health and well- being of a population. Many factors such as stress, poverty, an unhealthy physical environment, and barriers to health services have a bigger impact on infants than on any other population.

Review of fetal and infant deaths allows the community to respond to the specific needs identified by the cases reviewed. The reviews provide a voice for local families who have lost their babies. The presence of FIMR appears to significantly improve a community’s performance of public health functions.

How does FIMR work?

The four fundamental steps in the FIMR process include data collection, home interview, case review, and community action.

The FIMR process brings together key members of the community in order to:

  • Identify the factors associated with those deaths;
  • Determine if they represent system problems that require change (such as barriers to care or gaps in service delivery);
  • Develop recommendations for changes; and
  • Assist in the implementation of change.

Carrying out program objectives in a continuing fashion creates a cycle of improvement and provides feedback to determine whether recommendations and subsequent actions have made progress in improving systems of care for families.