Historically, Geary County has had a community health problem that affects its smallest, most vulnerable residents, high infant mortality rates. The overall rate of infant death in Geary County has recently lowered from 10.4 per 1,000 live births in 2011 to slightly more than 6.5 in 2016, but disparities still exist. The Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review process is an integral part of the robust community effort that has successfully impacted this important community health indicator.

The Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review process is a community initiative, involving multiple disciplines, organizations, and individuals seeking answers as to why infants are dying in our county. The hallmark of this review process is the integration of bereaved families at every point in the continuous quality improvement cycle.  Based on data review and interviews with parents who have experienced a loss, Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review program makes recommendations that are translated into strategies that result in increased knowledge about risk and protective factors, changes to service delivery systems and changes in policy that impact the social determinants of health.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review is to increase the capacity and sustainability of a long lasting and far-reaching initiative to change the Geary County maternal child health systems for healthier families. Through the Fetal Infant Mortality Review methodology of evaluation, the Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review will use valid evidence to seek improvement of the local public’s health education and overall welfare.

Process Overview

In 1984, National Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (NFIMR) was first developed by the federal Maternal Child Health (MCH) Bureau. In 1990, a public health collaboration began between the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the MCH Bureau to further expand FIMR projects. Currently, there are 200+ FIMR programs in 40 U. S. states. The FIMR process involves continuous quality improvement methods for creative and innovative solutions for local communities to improve the services and resources available to women and families. Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) project follows the same national FIMR model and methods.

As a community-driven initiative, designed to study infant deaths and to identify contributing factors that may be amenable to community or policy changes, Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review operates as a dynamic and diverse collaboration that merges epidemiology, chart abstraction and data management, coalition development and management, and intervention planning and implementation for systemic community changes.

Chart and maternal interview abstraction produces a de-identified infant death case summary. On a quarterly basis, case summaries are assessed by a Case Review Team that represents a broad range of medical providers, hospital institutions, advocates, professional organizations and public and private agencies to identify barriers to care and trends in service delivery systems within the community. Case Review Team recommendations are translated into strategies specific to Geary County through a quarterly Community Action Team.  Those strategies are then taken into the community and embedded in existing coalitions, agencies and organizations for sustainable implementation.

While oversight and funding for Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review program come from Kansas Action for Children, Kansas Health Foundation, United Methodist Health Ministries, this project would not be possible without the commitment of local and state partners from various disciplines who offer their expertise. These partners include Geary County Health Department, Geary Community Healthcare Foundation, Geary County Perinatal Coalition, Geary Community Hospital, Irwin Army Community Hospital, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Collaborations

“Public health is what we do together as a society to ensure the conditions in which everyone can be healthy,” Public Health 3.0, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Sustainable changes in community systems is a collaborative process.  Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review program is a multi-disciplinary team equipped with members from broad backgrounds, representing a cross-sector of community organizations.  Listed below are examples of organizations involved in the Geary County Fetal Infant Mortality Review process, this list is not comprehensive.

  • Geary County Healthcare Foundation
  • Geary County Commission
  • Junction City Commission
  • Fort Riley Family Advocacy Program
  • Flint Hills OBGYN
  • Fort Riley Department of Public Health
  • Geary Community Hospital
  • Delivering Change and the Geary County Perinatal Coalition
  • Geary County Schools USD 475
  • Irwin Army Community Hospital
  • Junction City Pediatrics
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)
  • Konza Prairie Community Health & Dental Center
  • March of Dimes-Kansas Chapter
  • KIDS Network of Kansas
  • Pawnee Mental Health
  • USD 475
  • Restoration Center
  • Department of Children and Families

Check out the latest annual report for FIMR here.