State health leaders and others are getting together for a summit to address infant mortality in North Carolina.

The Guilford County Health and Human Services Department has added several programs in recent years that bring earlier and more comprehensive involvement in the lives of young children to assure they stay healthy at a young age, and other North Carolina County’s and agencies are doing the same. But now the state is holding an “Early Childhood Advisory Council” with national experts to discuss ways to reduce infant mortality in North Carolina.

The NC Early Childhood Advisory Council is holding a meeting on Friday afternoon, Dec. 6 in the NC Department of Transportation Board Room to discuss early childhood action goals for reducing infant mortality.   That event will feature experts from the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the Center on Social Equity at Duke University, and the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. Speakers will offer information and potential strategies to address the tragic and recalcitrant problem.

They’ll also discuss infant mortality data trends in this state and will discuss some of the methods now being used by public health organizations to address maternal health and infant mortality across the state and elsewhere.

In addition, the discussion will include “perspectives on racial equity and reducing the infant mortality disparity ratio” as well as national trends that play into maternal health and infant mortality. And it will also examine any effects of Medicaid expansion on the infant mortality numbers.

Some of the key players at the summit will be DHHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, DHHS Chief Deputy Secretary Susan G. Perry and DHHS Senior Early Childhood Policy Advisor Rebecca Planchard.

The event will be held on Friday Dec. 6, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the NC Department of Transportation Board Room in the Transportation Building at 1 South Wilmington St. in Raleigh.