"We have made significant improvements and are encouraged by the decreased rate," said Alisa Haushalter, DNP, RN, director of the Shelby County Health Department. "We will continue to collaborate with all partners; partners who work tirelessly to ensure all babies not only live to celebrate their first birthday but thrive in a healthy community."
While this IMR number is the lowest it's ever been in recorded history, the number still disproportionately affect non-hispanic blacks, who have 10.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention through Healthy People 2020 has established the national IMR at 6 deaths per 1,000 live births.
To be certain, this number is a vast improvement since 2003, when the IMR rate among black communities was a devastating 21 deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2008, national attention turned to Memphis when ABC's news show, 20/20, focused their attention on the staggering crisis happening in Memphis' poorest, majority-black neighborhoods.