Governor Appoints Task Force on Infant Mortality, First Lady to ChairPIERRE – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has appointed a task force of medical and health professionals to study the state’s infant mortality rate and how to reduce it. First Lady Linda Daugaard will chair the group.
By: Staff reports, News release
PIERRE – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has appointed a task force of medical and health professionals to study the state’s infant mortality rate and how to reduce it. First Lady Linda Daugaard will chair the group.
“While South Dakota’s infant mortality rate saw dramatic improvements from the 1960s to the 1990s, the rate has worsened in the past decade. It’s a sad truth that many infants in our state don’t reach their first birthdays,” the governor said. “I’ve asked Linda to chair this task force because I can’t think of anyone more committed to the health and well-being of children in this state.”
The Governor’s Task on Infant Mortality will meet throughout the summer and fall and will report its recommendations to the governor by Dec. 15, 2011.
“It was a shock to learn that an average of 79 babies die before their first birthdays each year in South Dakota,” said Linda Daugaard. “I’m confident the dedicated experts on this task force can identify some concrete ways to start bringing those numbers down, and I’m looking forward to working with them.”
For 2000-2009, South Dakota’s infant mortality rate was 7.3 per 1,000 births, higher than those of neighboring North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Montana, and 29th highest in the nation.
The infant mortality rate among American Indians in South Dakota has improved in recent years, but it’s still the highest of any state in the nation at 12.4 per 1,000 births.
Task force members are a diverse group from rural and urban areas across the state. They represent hospitals, neonatal units, rural clinics, behavioral health, social work, the Sanford USD School of Medicine, Indian Health Service, Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board, medical practices ranging from family practice and obstetrics to neonatology and perinatology, and state agencies.