Among Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, the United States ranks near the bottom in infant mortality rates. This is particularly perilous for black babies in the U.S., who are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday as a white baby. In addition to the medical care and access a woman and baby receive, these poor outcomes are also driven by social determinants of health—non-clinical factors such as social, educational, environmental, and economic opportunities that affect a woman's overall health and wellbeing. This multi-faceted challenge requires a multi-faceted approach.
Cross-sector collaborations offer a way forward in their ability to direct multiple actors and interventions toward the same goal. In this report, we highlight lessons learned from two of our birth outcomes projects in Fresno County, California, and Staten Island, New York, to offer others insights into paths to success and challenges to be aware of when seeking to address birth outcomes through such collaborations.