Martine Hackett, PhD, assistant professor of health professions in the Master of Public Health program, won a $55,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in support of a study examining racial disparities in infant mortality in New York City.
Dr. Hackett is a co-investigator of the “The Social Ecology of Infant Sleep Environments,” which is supported by the NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Sleep-related death is one of the leading causes of infant mortality, with the highest rates among Black babies. The study will look at the infant sleep environments among three distinct ethnic groups within non-Hispanic Black communities (American, African, and Caribbean) in New York City to help develop interventions for caregivers that will alter the sleep environment and reduce rates of infant mortality.
The NIH sub-award allows Dr. Hackett and a graduate student to focus on the photo elicitation interviewing component of the research, where they will work with mothers using a novel technique in which participants take photos of their infant’s living environment. The mothers will then be interviewed about how these environments influences their infant’s sleep conditions.
Tracy Chu, PhD, of Brooklyn College is the principal investigator of the two-year NIH study, which is based on work she and Dr. Hackett did when they worked at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health. Dr. Hackett remains a consultant with the bureau.