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Community Action Network

The Community Action Network (CAN) envisions the city of Boston to be a place where everybody, regardless of race or ethnicity, has an equal opportunity to have healthy, happy babies and families, and strong, stable communities.

Infant mortality has tragic implications for the affected family, friends, and community. In Boston and across the U.S., Black families experience higher rates of infant mortality than White families.

Health inequities occur when unfair social policies and practices deny groups of individuals the opportunity for optimal health. Inequities can look like lack of resources to promote health or increased exposure to health risks. Health inequities are differences in health outcomes that are avoidable, unfair, and unjust. If these differences occur because of someone's race or ethnicity, they are racial inequities. 

While Boston has made progress, there is still more work to do. All babies, regardless of their race or ethnicity, deserve a healthy start.

About Community Action Network

What is CAN?
CAN is a group of community residents and organization representatives that work together to reduce racial inequities in infant mortality and poor birth outcomes. They address racial inequities in Boston through policy and community level changes.

Vision
CAN envisions the city of Boston to be a place where everybody, regardless of race or ethnicity, has an equal opportunity to have healthy, happy babies and families, and strong, stable communities.

Our Mission is to end racial and ethnic inequities in infant mortality and poor birth outcomes by mobilizing the community to do outreach, education, and policy change.

Learn more about the Community Action Network.

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Join Us

Anyone interested can join CAN! CAN is an opportunity to network, make a positive impact, take on leadership roles, join in advocacy activities, and much more! Share your voice!

CAN meets quarterly in a community meeting space. Between these large meetings, we also have workgroups that meet to strategize and plan activities.

CAN is currently working on two focus areas:

  • Supporting legislation to help communities in Massachusetts establish a​​ ​Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR)​
  • Promoting preconception health, and health during the years a woman can have children

Join the CAN team! Should go to new form

Preconception Health

What is preconception health?
Preconception health is the health of a woman during the years she can have a child. A woman's health during the preconception period is important for a healthy pregnancy. 

An important component is that if a woman does not want to become pregnant, she has access to effective birth control.

Almost 51% of all pregnancies are unintended in the United States. Having an unintended pregnancy puts both mothers and babies at an increased risk including:

  • Health problems for both mother and infant
  • Preterm birth, low birth weight, increased infant mortality
  • Delayed prenatal care
  • Increased depression, anxiety and physical abuse for mothers

What's CAN doing around preconception health?
CAN is currently working on efforts to raise awareness about preconception health through community outreach. 

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