The gap between infant mortality rates for black and white babies in Alabama is huge – and it’s growing.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, black babies in Alabama died at three times the rate of white babies in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. The infant mortality rate for black infants was 15.3; for whites it was just 5.2. The state’s overall rate is 8.3 – one of the highest in the nation.

To help combat the disparity, the ADPH has launched a pilot program in three rural Alabama counties to make annual physicals and other preventive health care available to women who are underinsured or who don’t have insurance.