$14.4 million grant works to decrease infant mortality

Michigan is on the receiving end of a $14.4 million federal grant that will improve the lives of mothers, children and families.

Health official also hope the funding will cut down on a state-wide statistic; more babies die before their first birthday in Michigan than the national average.

Infant mortality is an issue Governor Snyder and state health officials are working to change.

When Simaria Jordan was pregnant with her first son Antonio she knew it would not be easy.

"It is hard especially for young parents who become parents at a young age. I know how hard it is for myself," said Jordan.

Simaria connected with a home visit program. A nurse would come to her home and help answer questions and get her prepared for parenthood.

"She was just really helpful somebody to talk to when I needed help, stressed out overwhelmed with kids," said Jordan.

"It's a very foreboding task to understand the system and everything you should do during pregnancy," said Mark Valacak.

Genesee County Health Officer, Mark Valacak, said home visit programs across the state are making a difference in a big issue facing the state and the county.

"7.1 children out of every 1,000 don't make it to their first birthday and nationally it's 6 to 6.5 so we have more children dying in Michigan than the national average," said Angela Minicuci, Public Information Officer, Michigan Department of Community Health.

A federal grant of $14.4 million will fund more home visit programs across Michigan.

Valacak said, "it not only combats infant mortality program, if you look at the long term data it's producing kids that are school ready."

And adults ready for parenthood.

"It boosted my confidence to be able to take care of them," said Jordan.

You can find information about the home visitation program here.