The State Perinatal Program identifies and recommends strategies that will effectively decrease infant morbidity and mortality. The Program encourages cooperative relationships among healthcare providers and institutions to ensure medically effective and cost efficient perinatal care and to raise awareness regarding infant morbidity and mortality.
In an effort to confront the state’s high infant mortality rate, a group of physicians, other health providers, and interested citizens came together and became the impetus behind the passage of the Alabama Perinatal Health Act in 1980. This statute established the State Perinatal Program and the mechanism for its operation under the direction of the State Board of Health.
The State Perinatal Program is based on a concept of regionalization of care, a systems approach in which program components in a geographic area are defined and coordinated to ensure that pregnant women and their infants have access to appropriate care. The state’s regional perinatal health care system is composed of five regions. Availability of neonatal intensive care (NICU) directs the organization of the regionalized care system.