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Winners Named at Data Competition Aimed at Reducing Indiana’s Infant Mortality Rate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Oct. 17, 2019) — The Indiana chapter of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) today announces the professional and student category winners of the Oct. 5 Healthy Mom + Baby Datapalooza. Ingrid Arreola and Aubrey Xiong took first prize in the professional category for a solution that compared maternal and infant mortality trends across the Midwest, the State of Indiana and individual Indiana counties. First prize in the student category went to the Health Infrastructures and Learning Systems (HILS) Crew from the University of Michigan for a visual presentation of local risk profiles based on maternal health measures and community-level health indicators.  

“Indiana’s efforts to reduce infant mortality rely heavily on data, and it was heartening to see so many professional and student organizations represented during the Datapalooza, as well as other states,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “By working together and ensuring we are gathering the right data and understand its impact, we will be able to better  guide our OB Navigator program and help more Indiana babies celebrate their first birthdays.” 

Indiana currently has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the United States. According to 2017 data, the infant mortality rate in Indiana is 7.3, compared to the national rate of 5.8. The goal of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s OB Navigator program is to achieve the lowest infant mortality rate among Midwestern states by 2024.  

More than 20 teams from three states and six universities submitted visualization and analysis solutions to address this challenge using de-identified maternal health and infant mortality data provided by the Indiana Management Performance Hub. The competition was intended to bring together diverse perspectives and new voices to propel the exploration of Indiana’s data to deliver powerful insights and innovative solutions that result in an improved suite of data and tools for OB Navigator.   

“As state governments look to harness the power of data to achieve policy goals, it is critical that data be made accessible to those with the analytical expertise and passion for improving our population’s health,” said Connor Norwood, Chief Data Officer at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. “By making 45 datasets available to the public, competing teams generated an array of innovative solutions with actionable insights that have promise to enhance our efforts to improve maternal and infant health.” 

In terms of how the winning solutions will eventually be used, event organizers are hopeful about the ongoing conversations that will occur as a result of the competition.  

“A number of the proofs of concept that both the student and the professional teams presented were of such interest that I believe there will be follow-on work,” said Matt Kirby, Senior Consultant at KSM Consulting. “These groups identified new questions and use cases for this data. The competition served as a starting point—not an end destination—in discovering new ways to implement data to improve health outcomes for Indiana’s mothers and infants. 

The Healthy Mom + Baby Datapalooza was hosted in coordination with HIMSS, Parkview Health, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), Indiana Management Performance Hub (MPH), the Regenstrief Institute, and KSM Consulting.  

KSMC is a strategic and technical data partner of MPH and has supported a number of the complex initiatives that MPH has tackled over the years such as infant mortality, the opioid epidemic, developing the crash risk map, and developing the State’s Indiana Data Hub and the 25 de-identified Medicaid datasets that were originally released on it.    

To learn more about the Healthy Mom + Baby Datapalooza and to explore the winning data solutions, visit