Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rich Cordray brought his campaign to Cincinnati and Springfield Monday. In Hamilton County, he met with healthcare professionals and largely focused on reducing infant mortality.
"We have an infant mortality crisis in the state of Ohio where we are one of the worst states in the nation and particularly bad in the African-American community for newborn babies dying at rates far exceeding the national average," he says.
The state is using Medicaid funding in the fight against infant mortality. Cordray supports Ohio's Medicaid expansion while his opponent, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, says it's not sustainable.
DeWine says he believes Congress will give states flexibility through block grants and waivers to come up with customized Medicaid programs.
In Cincinnati, Cordray also asked about the possibility of scaling up the city's school-based health center model statewide.
"Schools as centers for health services and mental health services and prevention services is important," he says. "I get a sense of people working together because they need to, because they see that they must."
Representatives with Cincinnati Children's told Cordray their clinics are widely successful because communities see the locations as trustworthy.
Meanwhile DeWine announced Monday a collaboration among Ohio children's hospitals to identify and prevent child abuse in infants.
Cordray's roundtables in Springfield and Cincinnati were billed as stops to discuss the opioid epidemic. Speaking with media before the Cincinnati meeting, Cordray said: "We want to make sure that local governements and local officials - firefighters, first responders, police, the drug addiction specialists battleing this crisis - have the resources they need to protect our communities."