Vision & Goals


The PRIME Project will identify and implement the change in public health practice needed within the maternal and child health (MCH) area of state government to support the reduction of Michigan's African American and American Indian infant mortality rates, thereby reducing disparities in infant mortality.


The primary goal of PRIME is to create a comprehensive strategy that will help to reduce racial disparities in infant mortality in the state of Michigan. The focus of many trainings and workshops to build the capacity of staff to address health disparities have focused on raising awareness of racism and discrimination, educating staff on the root causes of social and health inequalities and pushing staff to grow personally in their ability to interact more effectively with colleagues who are different from themselves on a number of dimensions. These trainings have been useful for laying a foundation for more effective communication and interactions with colleagues in and outside of the health department. Additionally, PRIME hopes to link what has been learned in the trainings and workshops to the professional roles, responsibilities and tasks of public health practitioners, particularly in the state health department.

The primary objective of PRIME is to create a skill building program to help state health department employees more effectively address racial disparities in infant mortality. To enhance the effectiveness of the state's efforts to address racial disparities in infant mortality PRIME will tailor resources and information to individual staff, units, sections and the Bureau of Family & Maternal Child Health. A customized skills building program will equip public health practitioners with enhanced knowledge, a shared network of resources and guiding principles to apply new information, and the ability to develop and implement effective strategies to reduce disparities. PRIME will help to distinguish the common and unique determinants of Black infant mortality from American Indian infant mortality.

The PRIME Project has three core objectives:

  1. To promote the understanding of practices that support institutional racism and develop an approach that challenges but encourages staff to develop systemic corporate strategies to incorporate social determinants of health into public health practice. PRIME will work to identify, tailor and implement an appropriate training and consultation model/curriculum/tool that promotes understanding of practices that support racism as a social determinant of health and contributing factors to disparities in infant mortality.
  2. To effectively engage local stakeholders in MCH policy decision-making, and utilize proven practices and lessons learned as state strategies. This objective intends to spread the available local level knowledge base about undoing racism that exists within Michigan as an effort to improve infant outcomes.
  3. To develop a quality improvement process that is sustained through a revision of the state infrastructure model. This includes increased monitoring of social determinants of health and public sharing of measurable outcomes that reflect health equity.

The project aims to identify and eliminate institutionalized discriminatory policies and practices in the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), Bureau of Family & Maternal Child Health (BFMCH) and to focus more of MCH funding, policies, and practices on monitoring and addressing social determinants of racial disparities in infant mortality. If successful, this project will not only lead the statewide effort to reduce racial disparities in infant mortality but will provide a model curriculum and tool-kit that MDCH and local/state health departments may use to address health disparities in other health outcomes. The tool-kit will include strategies and tools to promote continuous quality improvement, collaboration and accountability in local and state government and organizations, and public sharing of measurable outcomes that reflect racial and health equity.