Healthy Babies Initiative


NCPHA Makes $30,000 Gift to UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health (CMIH)

As part of the NCPHA Healthy Babies Itiative, in the summer of 2020, NCPHA gave a gift of $30,000 to the UNC Health Foundation (Foundation) for the benefit of the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health (CMIH).  The funds are being used to provide safe sleep education and portable cribs for North Carolina families.  Quarterly updates will be provided by CMIH and will posted on this website.  


In 2016, the NCPHA Executive Committee discussed ideas to increase member engagement and cross-discipline conversation about current public health problems. The team knew that reducing infant mortality and improving healthy baby outcomes was the answer. NCPHA kicked-off the Healthy Babies Initiative on September 14, 2016 at the New Bern meeting to improve healthy baby outcomes as part of the Strategic Plan for 2016-2020. 

In the winter of 2020, the NCPHA Executive Committee determined a tangible approach would be benefical to insuring the health of babies across North Carolina.  Therefore, a gift was made to the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health (as noted above).  Below is the January 2021 update from the Center:  

Safe Sleep Education and Portable Crib Initiative Update
January 29, 2021

Project Timeline Recap:

• Fall/Spring 2019- Surveyed CMARC staff to determine need for resources and interest in participating

• Spring 2020- UNC CMIH received funding from NCPHA for Safe Sleep Ed and Portable Crib Project

• Summer 2020- Identified counties to participate in project

• Summer 2020- Conducted focus groups with participating CMARC staff to shape project

• Fall 2020- Provided safe sleep and portable crib training to participating CMARC counties (all counties received safe sleep training)

• Fall 2020- CMARC sites worked internally to be prepared for project

• Fall 2020- 1st quarter order and distribution of crib kits

• Winter 2021- Currently, sites are in the 2nd quarter and ordering and distributing kits

Project Update:
From October 2020 to January 2021, 96 crib kits (portable crib, fitted sheet, sleep sack, and safe sleep booklet) coupled with high quality safe sleep education was delivered to high-risk NC families served by CMARC.

Thirty Counties Identified to Participate as Priority Counties:

Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Bertie, Bladen, Camden, Caswell, Chowan, Columbus, Currituck, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Harnett*, Hertford, Lincoln, Martin, Mitchell, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Rowan, Stanly, Stokes, Tyrrell, Vance, Washington, Wataugua, Wilson, Yancey * Harnett Co. opted not to participate. Onslow Co. is now participating in their place

Priority Factors:

• High Infant Mortality Rate

• High Black Infant Mortality Rate

• Population Size

• Rurality

• Lack of Access to Crib or Portable Crib