Top 25 Innovators
Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom
Senior vice president of community health and equity and chief wellness and diversity officer,
Henry Ford Health System
In Detroit, the infant death rate for African-American babies remains twice as high as the rate for white babies. To address this problem, Wisdom founded the Henry Ford Health System’s Women-Inspired Neighborhood Network. The program uses midwives, social workers and others to connect with African-American mothers to address social determinants of health. Since launching, there have been no preventable infant deaths among program participants. Only 7% of babies were born with low birth weights, compared with 14% across Detroit; 94% of mothers initiated breastfeeding. Mothers also experienced dramatic rises in the use of social services, including nutrition, meditation and family planning.