In This Issue:
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Strong Start | Healthy Start is an initiative of the Ingham County Health Department to enhance the health of African-American families and improve birth outcomes in Ingham County. We provide services which include home visiting for expectant and parenting moms and dads with a child up to age two. We also offer free health education workshops that are open to educate pregnant and parenting women, men, families, and the community.

Health Officer
Ingham County Health Department

Deputy Health Officer
Ingham County Health Department

Regina TraylorMSN, RN, CNS
Director, Maternal Child Health Division
Program Supervisor
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Crystal P. TylerPHD, MPH

Strong Start | Healthy Start Evaluation

Program Director, Center for Child and Family Health

Michigan Public Health Institute

Alysia Osoff, RN, MSN, CEN

Senior Public Health Nurse

Fetal & Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Board Coordinator

Health Educator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Fatherhood Facilitator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Action Network Coordinator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Health Worker
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Health Worker
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Health Worker
Strong Start | Healthy Start

LaShawn Sinclaire
Peer Advisor, Health Education

Peer Advisor, Dads Matter Program

Administrative Support
Maternal Child Health Division

Quick Links

Departmental and Community Partners
Department of Human Services, Ingham County

Expectant Parent's Organization

Family Outreach Services, Ingham County Health Department

Greater Lansing African-American Health Institute

Infant Mortality Coalition

Ingham County Health Department

Ingham Great Start Collaborative

Ingham Healthy Families

Ingham Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition

Greater Lansing Clergy Forum

Great Parents, Great Start Program

Lansing Housing Commission

League of Women Voters

Maternal Infant Health Program, Ingham County Health Department

McLaren of Greater Lansing

Michigan Public Health Institute

Michigan State University, College of Nursing

Nurse Family Partnership, Ingham County Health Department

Parent-Infant Program

Pathways to Better Health
Power of We Consortium

Shared Pregnancy Women's Center

South Side Community Coalition

Sparrow Health System

Tomorrow's Child

Willow Tree Family Center
Ingham County FIMR Update
Ingham County Re-launches FIMR
On Tuesday, August 25th, 2015, Healthy Start launched the Fetal & Infant Mortality Review Board to ensure that more Ingham County babies are making it to their first birthday.  Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) is an action-oriented community process that continually assesses, monitors, and works to improve service systems and community resources for women, infants, and families. Research shows FIMR is an effective perinatal systems intervention.  Over 75 community stakeholders attended the luncheon and made a commitment to take an active role in this process. Attendees included community members, law enforcement, elected officials, senior hospital administrators, nurses, health department officials, and non-profit leaders, among others.

We want to give a special thanks to all of those who attended the luncheon and to those who helped make this event possible.

Next Steps
  1. Over the next 3-4 months, FIMR staff will review and analyze information collected in interviews and medical data abstractions related to recent fetal and infant deaths in Ingham County.
  2. FIMR staff will generate summary reports to bring forth to the Case Review Team.
  3. Our first Case Review Team will convene in late-January 2016.  The date will be based on everyone's availability as outlined in the surveys and the meeting information will be sent the first week of January 2016. 
If you have not had an opportunity to sign-up for either the Case Review Team or Community Action Team or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Alysia Osoff, FIMR Coordinator.  

For more information about Fetal & Infant Mortality Review or to become involved, contact Alysia Osoff, FIMR Coordinator, via e-mail at [email protected] or via phone at 517-887-4322 or visit
National FIMR Update
Work Group Announcement
[Written by: Jodi Shaefer, Director, NFIMR]


Many partners participated in National FIMR's online discussion about the new National Center for Fetal, Infant and Child Death Review funded by MCHB to combine NFIMR and CDR technical assistance centers.  You can access this webinar on the website.  National FIMR asked for your assistance as they work to improve the health of our communities.  NFIMR is developing three work groups.  Generally, workgroups will include regular conference calls and review of related materials. The workgroups include:
  1. Database - variable identification; cross walk with all current databases
    • Review data elements, accept / reject                                        
    • Determine data for specific causes of death                                  
    • Propose reports for FIMR CRT
  2. Best practices to decrease racial disparities
  3. FIMR & CDR models collaboration
The NFIMR office is facilitating the database and best practices workgroup.  They have heard from many of you and will be sending more information shortly.  Esther Shaw from MPHI and Jodi are leading the database workgroup.  Please contact [email protected] if you are interested in participating in these workgroups. 
The FIMR CDR models of collaboration workgroup is being coordinated by Abby Collier.  Abby is with the Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin.  Over the last four years, she has worked to develop models for collaboration and piloted them in several Wisconsin counties. During this process we learned there are many opportunities to collaborate between CDR and FIMR while maintaining the integrity of each review system.  If you are interested in joining this workgroup, participating in individualized technical assistance or have any questions, please contact Abby Collier at (414) 337-4566 or [email protected].
Thank you in advance for your support of our work to decrease infant mortality and improve the health of our community. Read More.
What Is FIMR? 
How to Make an Impact in Your Community

The US infant mortality rate has been steadily decreasing, but racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality still persist. FIMR is an evidence-based process to examine fetal and infant deaths. FIMR is a community-owned & action oriented process to improve service systems and resources for women, infants and families. FIMR offers the community: 
  • A warning system that can describe effects of health care systems change 
  • A method for implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) 
  • A means to implement needs assessment, quality assurance and policy development which are essential public health functions, at the local level. 

  • The FIMR process brings a multi-disciplinary community team together to review deidentified infant and fetal death 
  • Composed of health, social service and other experts; the FIMR case review team (CRT) examines the case summary, identifies issues, and makes recommendations for community change if appropriate. 
  • Community leaders representing government, consumers, key institutions, and health & human service organizations serve on the community action team (CAT) which acts to implement recommendations
The FIMR process is not about assigning blame, it is an examination of circumstances surrounding the death to identify system gaps. The FIMR process is similar to a root cause analysis. Because cases are selected based on the community disparities for infant mortality, it is not a surveillance system either. The first step is for the Case Review Team to review all the case data and make recommendations. The next step is for the Community Action Team to take the recommendations, prioritize them, and make the changes needed in the community's service delivery system. 

  • Information processor of the FIMR program
  • Reviews and analyzes the information collected in interviews and medical data abstractions
  • Summarizes findings and create recommendations to improve the community's service delivery systems and community resources.

  • Develop new and creative solutions to improve services and resources for families from the recommendations made by the case review team
  • Enhance the credibility and visibility of issues related to parents, infants and families within the broader community by informing stakeholders about the need for these actions through presentations, media events and written reports
  • Work with the community to implement interventions that will improve services and resources
  • Determine if the needs of the community are changing over time and decide which interventions should be added or altered to meet the needs
  • Safeguard successful FIMR systems changes from being discontinued in the future.
For more information about the Fetal & Infant Mortality Board or to become involved, contact Alysia Osoff, FIMR Coordinator, via e-mail at [email protected] or via phone at 517-887-4322 or visit
FIMR Success Story
Region 1, Virginia Perinatal Council (VPC)
Region 1 Virginia Perinatal Council (VPC)
Tara West, Coordinator of Regional Perinatal Council Projects

One of the most positive and effective projects to come directly out of VPC FIMR is the Baby Basics Moms Club (BBMC).  BBMC is a waiting room based education tool that targets, but is not limited to, low literacy, low income pregnant women.  There are 24 topics covered which include 6 core topics of Safe Sleep, Substance Abuse/Tobacco Use, Nutrition, Preterm Labor, Breastfeeding, Postpartum Depression/Domestic Violence,  These core topics have been identified in FIMR and are considered priorities by the CAT for consumer education.
Moms club has grown from 1 site in 2010 to 5 sites in 2012.  Club meetings last approximately 90 minutes and generally two topics are covered in each meeting.  On average 6 to 12 moms attend each club meeting per week and bring a support partner with them.  These are typically women who would not attend a traditional childbirth education class.  Incentives are built into the club for certain milestones met (this is all funded through outside support).  There is a one on one program/participant evaluation tool offered at 6 weeks post-partum to assess for changes in behavior, program satisfaction and linkage to other services that address the needs of the moms to be and her family. Read More. 
Fast Stats
Vital Records and Health Data

For more information about the Fetal & Infant Mortality Board or to become involved, contact Alysia Osoff, FIMR Coordinator, via e-mail at [email protected] or via phone at 517-887-4322 or visit
A Guide for Communities: Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Manual
This second edition of the FIMR Manual is designed to         
provide communities interested in developing a new FIMR program or continuing an existing FIMR program with a step by step guide for implementing FIMR and making systems change happen for women, infants and families through FIMR. It is intended to be a practical guide, based on the cumulative best practices of the many FIMR programs that have survived and thrived over the past two decades.
This Manual is also written with the understanding that many of the decisions that go into developing projects like FIMR are local in nature. There are many aspects to FIMR for which there are no right or wrong approaches, only the way that works best in a particular situation. On the other hand, in the experience of FIMR programs and the evidence from the national evaluation of FIMR, certain components of FIMR are better done one way than any other. This book points out the things that have worked best in most programs.  Read More.