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Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division

Perinatal Equity Initiative

African American family

In June 2018, recognizing the continued statewide gap in Black infant mortality, the Governor signed legislation establishing the California Perinatal Equity Initiative (PEI) within the California Department of Public Health. While significant declines in infant mortality have been achieved, the rate of mortality among Black infants continues to be two to four times higher than the rates for other groups statewide.

Taking Action

The establishment of PEI will address the causes of persistent inequality and identify best practices to deal with disparities in infant mortality. PEI will promote the use of specific interventions designed to fill gaps in current programming offered through the Black Infant Health (BIH) Group Model.

The legislation also provides funding to county health departments to promote leadership and coordination for widespread and lasting change in public awareness and in public health and clinical practice.

Planning Grants

By the end of 2018, Planning Grants will be awarded to the 13 county health departments currently operating BIH programs for the purpose of improving Black infant birth outcomes and reducing infant mortality. The following outlines the key elements of the Planning Grant:

  • Conduct an environmental scan to identify gaps in perinatal health care and community services

  • Attend State-hosted Community Engagement Meetings

  • Establish local Perinatal Health Equity Community Advisory Boards

  • Engage hospital partners to conduct Black preterm birth chart reviews and focus groups with moms who delivered preterm to gain a deeper understanding of perinatal health care before, during and after delivery

  • Develop and implement a public health awareness campaign to bring focus to maternal and infant health disparities

As outlined in the Legislation, counties participating in the Perinatal Equity Initiative shall create a local community grant program and use funding for the following purposes:

  • Evidence-based or evidence-informed group prenatal care

  • Pregnancy intentionality, preconception and interconception care

  • Fatherhood or partnership initiatives

  • Evidence-based or evidence-informed home visitation programs (inclusive of case management)

  • Other (a strategy not identified above, but based on local needs and resources such as the inclusion of mental health and/or other wrap around services including but not limited to assessment, personalized case management, doulas, patient navigator, access to evidence-based interventions that reduce preterm birth and infant mortality, etc.)

Community Engagement Meetings

As a first step toward implementing the PEI, Community Engagement Meetings have been scheduled to gather from our county partners their input and perspectives on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that affect the quality of health for African-American women and infants. 

Community Engagement Meetings are designed to hear directly from community partners including, local Black Infant health programs, Local home visiting programs, social service programs; and other relevant local community groups and interested stakeholders.

All interested participants must register to attend the meeting per their respective county location/Local Health Jurisdiction. Seating is limited, but if you would like to register, please contact If you're unable to attend and would like to share thoughts and ideas, please sign up here to receive a Community Engagement Survey that will be sent to you in a couple of weeks.

Date Location Assigned Counties

November 15


Contra Costa

November 16
(Bay Area)


San Francisco
Santa Clara

November 30


San Joaquin

December 5

To Be Determined

Los Angeles
(City of Pasadena and City of Long Beach)

December 13
Riverside Riverside
San Bernardino
San Diego

Questions? Contact Us

Call the MCAH Division at (866) 241‑0395

Physical address:

Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division
1615 Capitol Ave, Suite 73.560
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing address:

Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division
PO Box 997420, MS 8300
Sacramento, CA 95899-7420


(916) 650-0305


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