Coming Monday

Nurse Family Partnership sends nurses into the homes of low-income, first-time moms to help them raise healthy babies.

It’s an expensive way to address South Carolina’s high infant mortality rate, but it works.

Learn more about the program and how South Carolina wants to expand it using social impact bonds in Monday’s print edition of The Post and Courier.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s top health care adviser will head to the White House next week to discuss with the Obama administration how South Carolina plans to use private investment to improve the state’s infant mortality rate.

Tony Keck, director of the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said he anticipates the discussion on Monday will be “workshop focused.”

“It’s not going to be a sit and listen thing. It’s going to be a talk and come up with ideas thing,” Keck said.

He said he didn’t know if the president will participate.

In May, South Carolina was awarded a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to explore ways that social impact bonds might be used to tackle the state’s high infant mortality rate. In 2011, the most recent year data is available, an average 7.4 babies out of 1,000 born died before their first birthday in the state. The national rate is 6.05.

Social impact bonds funnel private investment into programs that address complex social issues, such as infant mortality, prison recidivism and early childhood education.

“There’s very, very few (social impact bonds) operating in the United States,” Keck said. “It’s right on the cutting edge.”

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey called the White House meeting “a great thing.”

“Our attendance helps South Carolina, and states in general, help shape this new investment tool from the start,” Godfrey said.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.