Dr. box heasd shot.jpg

As an OB/GYN for the past 30 years, I have had the good fortune to help bring thousands of Indiana babies into the world. As a physician and a mother, it troubles me to know that more than 3,000 babies in our state have died before their first birthdays in the last five years.

While we know that access to prenatal care, safe sleep practices, breastfeeding and smoking cessation can help reduce infant mortality rates, we can’t ignore the risk that drug addiction has become to our state’s most vulnerable.

As Hoosiers face the opioid epidemic, health professionals are seeking better strategies for the prevention, management and treatment of substance use disorder. Supported by Governor Eric Holcomb, who has dedicated one of the five pillars of his administration to attacking the drug epidemic, public health professionals are fighting for Hoosier babies and mothers who have been impacted by this scourge. In fact, this year’s Labor of Love Infant Mortality Summit is helping to do just that by focusing on the impact of opioids.

Participants at this year’s summit will hear from a host of nationally renowned experts who will share their experiences and provide insight to help them address the dual tragedies of opioid addiction and infant mortality in their own communities.

By examining the many underlying causes of infant mortality and educating the public about this very important issue, I believe we can impact the infant mortality rate and further promote a healthier, safer Indiana. Our mission is difficult, but well worth the challenge. Please join us in the fight for Hoosier moms and babies.

Yours in Health,
Kris Box, MD, FACOG
State Health Commissioner

Headline Speakers

We have assembled an exciting lineup of experts from across the United States to join us in a conversation around disparities and their relation to infant mortality in Indiana.  

Speakers › 

Continuing Education

A basic continuing education certificate of attendance will be available to all attendees. You many pick it up at the Registration Table at the conclusion of the Summit.

The Labor of Love Infant Mortality Summit has been approved for 6.5 hours of continuing ed hours by the NASW (National Association of Social Workers). 



What are health disparities?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.1Populations can be defined by factors such as race or ethnicity, gender, education or income, disability, geographic location (e.g., rural or urban), or sexual orientation. Health disparities are inequitable and are directly related to the historical and current unequal distribution of social, political, economic, and environmental resources.

Health disparities result from multiple factors, including

  • Poverty
  • Environmental threats
  • Inadequate access to health care
  • Individual and behavioral factors
  • Educational inequalities
Citation: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/disparities/

Sponsors & Exhibitors

The ISDH is seeking sponsorships for the Fifth Annual Infant Mortality Summit. Well-attended and well-received, the Summit attracts nearly 1,000 participants from across the State of Indiana.

Become a sponsor ›

This year, we are providing a special area to allow organizations on the forefront of fighting Indiana’s opioid epidemic and its effects on infant mortality to showcase products and services while highlighting best practices in this battle.


About Labor of Love

Labor of Love is a product of the Indiana State Department of Health in cooperation with other organizations.

Infant mortality is the death of a baby before his or her first birthday. The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet it has an unacceptably high rate of infant mortality compared to other wealthy countries.

The problem is particularly significant in Indiana, where the overall infant mortality rate was 6.7 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births in 2012.

To combat unacceptable rates of infant mortality in Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Health, through its Maternal and Child Health program, is initiating a statewide sustained education and outreach effort. This has been identified as the agency’s No. 1 priority.

Labor of Love Home >

Photos from the 2016 Labor of Love Summit

Click HERE to watch presentations from 2016's Labor of Love Infant Mortality Summit!