Dr. Heidi Knoll, from Mountain Area Health Education Center in North Carolina, visited the College October 17 to present the IMPLICIT Interconception Care program. IMPLICIT stands for Interventions to Minimize Preterm and Low birthweight Infants through Continuous Improvement Techniques.
The infant mortality rate in Alabama is 7.8 deaths per 1,000 births, compared to the US rate of 5.8 deaths per 1,000 births.
“This [program] would work to improve those rates,” Knoll said. “This [program] is going to help babies be born into healthier families.”
University Medical Center, which the College operates, received a grant from the March of Dimes to start the IMPLICIT Network in Alabama. IMPLICIT is a family medicine network that looks at modified risk and works to improve the health of pregnant women before pregnancy.
The modified risks identified by IMPLICIT are smoking, depression, family planning and multivitamin use. The goal is to talk to women of childbearing age at primary care physician visits. If the woman is already a mother, then she will be screened at well-child visits, from zero to 24 months, and if any factors are identified, the mother is connected with either a primary care physician or other resources. If the woman plans on getting pregnant, she will be screened at primary care visits and introduced to preconception health visits to ensure a healthier pregnancy.
There are currently 25 sites nationwide in the IMPLICIT Network, but only a few locations in the South; UMC is the only location in Alabama. Other Southern locations include the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson Mississippi, and locations in North Carolina, including MAHEC.
For more information visit: http://www.fmec.net/implicit