TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — Florida’s infants are surviving life-threatening diseases at its highest rate on record.

Florida’s infant mortality rate fell to 6.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, a record low and down 33 percent from 1990.

The good news from the Florida Department of Health (DOH) was part of the Annual Bureau of Vital Statistics’ report.

“Reducing infant mortality has been a priority in Florida for many years and remains a long term commitment,” said Division Director for Community Health Promotion Betsy Wood. “The success of decreasing the infant mortality rate is attributed to multiple factors like working with systems of care, quality providers and effective health messages.”

County Health Departments and the DOH central office are responsible for with implementing and continuing efforts to improve infant health.

In Florida, these agencies’ efforts include:

• State and federal Healthy Start programs, which provide universal risk screening of all Florida’s pregnant women and newborn infants

• Money-saving waivers for Healthy Start Medicaid and Family Planning Medicaid

• Multiple programs funded by Closing the Gap Grants, which reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes

For further information on infant mortality, see the 2011 Florida Vital Statistics annual report. For a wealth of other health-related statistics, visit the Florida CHARTS website.


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