The goal of the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Program is to prevent infant mortality and morbidity through the review of fetal and infant deaths in Maryland. The FIMR process is used as a "warning system" and method for improving birth outcomes and systems of care surrounding pregnancy, childbirth and infancy. FIMR assesses how infant morbidity and mortality occurs in specific local communities and creates an action-oriented process for change. FIMR offers communities a way to discover unmet needs to improve the health of mothers and infants. FIMR is an action-oriented community process that continually assesses, monitors, and works to improve service systems and community resources for women, infants, and families. A fetal or infant death to a community resident is the event that begins the process.
The National Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Program (NFIMR) is a collaborative effort between the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration. The Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Program began in Maryland in 1997.
*The definitions of live birth and fetal death are set by law in Section 14 (a) of Article 43 of the Maryland Code, 1957 Edition - Supplement. Fetal deaths are reportable for filing purposes only if the death occurs after a period of gestation of twenty or more completed weeks (Section 21 (a) of Article 43 supra). (Source DHMH Vital Statistics Administration)
NFIMR Glossary of Terms
Confidentiality of all information is strictly maintained. That means that names of the mother, provider and institution are removed.
NFIMR Manual for FIMR Leaders
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Maternal and Child Health Bureau is the lead agency for Maryland's FIMR Program. There are 16 FIMR projects in the state which represent all 24 Maryland jurisdictions. There are 16 jurisdiction level programs (Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Washington) and two regional FIMR programs: the Lower Eastern Shore Regional FIMR (Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester County); and the Midshore Perinatal Advisory Committee (Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, and Talbot).
Maryland has initiated and maintained the FIMR process in every jurisdiction in the state. FIMR teams have identified numerous findings, recommendations and actions steps for improving systems of care for pregnant women and infants. Recommendations have included improving access to prenatal care, family planning, bereavement and other mental health services, substance abuse services; increasing screening for domestic violence, safe infant sleep practices, and improving case management. Maryland's FIMR Program is supported by Title V - MCH Block Grant funds.
For information about the State Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Program, please contact Joan Patterson, State Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Coordinator, at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Maternal and Child Health Bureau at telephone number 410 767 3409 or email Alison.Whitney@maryland.gov.
Maryland FIMR Coordinator Training Slides
Basics TrainingMaternal InterviewingPreparing Cases for Review Community Action Program Planning and Evaluation
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464