Our Purpose

Strengthen families and address inequities in infant and maternal health.

About the Plan

The NC Perinatal Health Strategic Plan (PHSP) serves as a statewide guide to improve maternal and infant health and the health of all people of reproductive age. The plan’s primary focus is increasing health equity, which is the opportunity for every person to have good health regardless of social and economic factors. The first PHSP was implemented in 2016, and North Carolina continues to strive to achieve perinatal health equity. Rates of infant and maternal mortality are much higher for Black infants and mothers than for non-Hispanic white infants and mothers.

The effects of structural racism have always impeded the ability of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) to achieve the best possible health. This plan, created for 2022-2026, seeks to address both the challenges of structural racism and of the pandemic by focusing on the drivers of health. These drivers of health (sometimes called social determinants of health) are the factors that influence and affect our health in the environments where we live, learn, work, worship, and play.

The NC Division of Public Health (DPH) brought together stakeholders from across the state to develop this revised plan and will continue to work with public, nonprofit, and private partners to implement the plan and assess progress. The PHSP framework is adapted from the 12-point plan Closing the Black-White Gap in Birth Outcomes: A Life-Course Approach developed by Michael C. Lu, Milton Kotelchuck, Vijaya Hogan, Loretta Jones, Kynna Wright, and Neal Halfon. Based on this framework, the PHSP includes three primary goals:

  • 1) addressing economic and social inequities,
  • 2) strengthening families and communities, and
  • 3) improving health care for all people of childbearing age.

About the NC Perinatal Health Equity Collective

The NC Perinatal Health Equity Collective (PHEC) is comprised of over 200 maternal and child health experts from across the state. The purpose of the NC PHEC is to lead, guide and support the NC Perinatal Health Strategic Plan (PHSP). Throughout your visit here, Join Us to share how you would like to participate in the NC PHEC or join a work group. The full collective meets every other month with work groups (more information below) meeting more frequently. We look forward to collaborating with you!

Our Partners

Our Partners include, but are not limited to, the following agencies:

Perinatal Health Equity Collective Work Groups:

Communications – promotes and shares the intent and goals of the PHSP to audiences and stakeholders across North Carolina.

Data and Evaluation – compiles data annually for the PHSP Data indicators and monitors new data sources. In addition, they promote data quality improvement and assist other PHEC workgroups to move data to action.

Policy – advocates for and promotes policies found in the PHSP through education and information sharing.

Village to Village – formerly known as the Community and Consumer Engagement Work Group, this group strives to develop a network of preconception and interconception consumers and community members from across North Carolina who can create strategies and activities to strengthen the PHSP.

Maternal Health – represents the work of the former Maternal Health Task Force, led by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM). Partners and experts from across North Carolina will work to identify evidence-based solutions to best improve maternal health outcomes. At least three action teams will fall under this work group: Maternal Levels of Care, Neonatal Levels of Care, and Equity in Practice.


Click here to learn more about the PHSP History.

Last Modified: April 24, 2023