Identifying Infants at Risk: North Carolina's High-Priority Infant Program

Authors

  • Dorothy Cilenti M.S.W., M.P.H.,

    1. Dorothy Cilenti is a graduate of the dual degree program in Social Work and Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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  • Anita M. Farel Dr.P.H.

    Corresponding author
    1. Anita Farel is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Address correspondence to Anita M. Farel, Dr. P. H., Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 426 Rosenau Hall/CB# 7400, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-7400.

Abstract

Recent federal legislation (e.g., PL 99-457, Part H, and amendments to the MCH block grant and Medicaid legislation) has focused attention on infants at risk for health and developmental problems. The ability to plan services for these infants would be strengthened by data that could be used for program accountability and evaluation. Using nurses based in local health departments, North Carolina's High-Priority Infant program currently identifies and follows infants with biologic (e.g., very low birth weight), environmental (e.g., psychosocial problems), and established (e.g., Down syndrome) risk conditions. Data from this program were collected to analyze specific features of its implementation, a necessary precursor to evaluating outcome.

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