This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Catalyst for Infant Health Equity program. The goals of the new Catalyst for Infant Health Equity program are twofold: 1) to continue reducing overall infant mortality (IM) rates in the United States, and 2) to decrease and ultimately eliminate disparities in IM across racial/ethnic groups by achieving steeper declines for groups with the highest rates. To accomplish these goals, award recipients are expected to address the broader social and structural determinants (or root causes) contributing to IM disparities at the county or jurisdiction1 level. For example, recipients will support implementation of existing action plans that address public policies, systemic racism and discrimination, and/or institutional practices. To maximize impact on disparities in infant mortality rates at the national level, counties/jurisdictions with larger numbers of excess infant deaths2 will be considered priority areas. 11 For the purposes of this NOFO, "jurisdiction" refers to tribal areas; the District of Columbia; municipalities within Puerto Rico; and similar geographical areas found within the US-affiliated Pacific Islands and Freely Associated States. 2 Excess infant deaths are those that occur due to higher mortality rates relative to non-Hispanic White infants, and can be referred to as deaths attributable to disparity or deaths that need to be prevented to achieve equity in IM rates. Excess infant deaths are calculated by multiplying excess infant mortality rates by the number of births (e.g., [Black IMR – White IMR] X Black births). 3 https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/social-determinants-health The purpose of the Catalyst awards is to support the implementation of existing action plans that apply data-driven policy and innovative systems strategies to reduce IM disparities and prevent excess infant deaths. Recipients are expected to implement action plans that address the social determinants of health (i.e., environmental, social, and economic conditions), and/or the structural determinants of health (e.g., institutions, systemic barriers, policies) that contribute to disparities in IM. The policy and systems change strategies in such action plans should be targeted and specific to reducing disparities among the racial or ethnic group(s) with the highest IM rates or excess infant deaths (i.e., priority population) in a target county/jurisdiction. The plan must be implemented in partnership with cross-sector state and/or local partners (including agencies that administer the State Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Program), community members, and individuals with lived experience. Healthy People 2030 has grouped social determinants of health (SDOH) into the five domains3 below. Successful award recipients will be expected to implement policy and systems strategies in their action plan from at least one of these domains, and focus on an objective(s) within that domain that can affect birth outcomes and contribute to reducing the IM disparity in the target county/jurisdiction. HRSA-22-066 2 Domain 1: Economic Stability Domain 2: Education Access and Quality Domain 3: Health Care Access and Quality Domain 4: Neighborhood and Built Environment Domain 5: Social and Community Context Award recipients are expected to address the three areas of focus below during the period of performance in order to successfully achieve the goals and objectives of the Catalyst for Infant Health Equity program: 1) Action Plan Implementation: implement an already developed action plan containing SDOH policy and systems changes to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in IM in a selected priority population (e.g., racial/ethnic group with the highest numbers of excess infant deaths) within a target county/jurisdiction. 2) Strategic Partnerships: assure accountability and sustainability of the action plan by facilitating, supporting, and building the capacity of a network of local organizations, service providers, and consumers/community members who can advance systems and policy changes that will address contributors to IM and disparities. 3) Outcome Evaluation: continuously assess progress toward implementing the action plan and reducing both IM and disparities in IM among racial or ethnic group(s) with the highest IM rates or excess infant deaths (i.e., priority population) in the target county/jurisdiction.
Eligible applicants include any domestic public or private entity. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply for these funds.
Note: Eligible applicants are not required to be Healthy Start grant recipients.
See Section III.1 of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for complete eligibility information.
Lud Abigail Duchatelier-Jeudy, PhD, MPH