Infant Mortality | WOSU Radio

Infant Mortality

Montgomery County health officials are welcoming an influx of funding from the Ohio Department of Medicaid. The money is part of an effort to combat high rates of infant mortality around the state.

More than $3 million was granted to Montgomery County’s EveryOne Reach One Infant Mortality Task Force, and will go to half a dozen Montgomery County groups to help reduce the number of infant deaths.

More than four dozen babies died before their first birthday in Montgomery County last year.

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A national report ranks Ohio in the bottom half in the country for the health of women, infants and children.

Kae Petrin
St. Louis Public Radio

Brittany "Tru" Kellman sometimes starts her day two hours before Jamaa Birth Village opens at 10 a.m., stashing diapers and snacks for the dozens of people who will come through the Ferguson nonprofit’s doors. She gives everyone a hug when she meets them.

Gov. Mike DeWine wants to more than double the funds for home visitation programs to help curb Ohio's dismal infant mortality rate and develop at-risk children's mental, physical, and behavioral health.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

More babies lived to celebrate their first birthdays last year, according to a new data from Columbus Public Health.  

Sitting in the small midwifery office at Neighborhood Family Practice on the West Side of Cleveland, midwife Katy Maistros discusses the mothers she’s helped give birth — many of them refugees from different parts of the world.

"We don’t like to say we deliver babies, because women deliver their own babies … but we catch them," Maistros said.

Most recently, she’s noticed high levels of stress in her Hispanic patients. Many fled gang violence or poverty in Latin America, only to face immigration and deportation fears once they arrived in the U.S.

Andrew Ginther

In his annual State of the City address, Mayor Andrew Ginther touted Columbus’ work to improve neighborhoods—particularly Linden. Looking forward, the mayor emphasized plans for housing, health, climate change and education.

Ohio ranks fifth among states for how many babies die before turning one, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 2017, nearly a thousand Ohio infants died before their first birthdays.

A bill introduced this week by legislators from Akron and Canton aims to reduce the state’s infant mortality rate.

First Year Cleveland, a group working to reduce infant mortality in Cuyahoga County, reports preliminary data for 2018 shows the rate of black infants dying before their first birthday is at its lowest in five years, and white infant mortality is the second lowest Cuyahoga County has seen in the same time period.

However, the Hispanic infant mortality rate dramatically increased to the highest rate the county has experienced in those same five years, according to Richard Stacklin of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

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Gov. Mike DeWine is hitting the ground running just one day after being sworn into office by creating the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Home Visitations. The group will be charged with creating a budget proposal that increases the amount of families served with home visitations.

Columbus' CelebrateOne initiative has a simple goal: help more kids reach their first birthday. Now, some barbershops, beauty and nail salons are helping the city spread the word about infant mortality.

Ohio's infant mortality rate remains higher than the national average. The rate of African-American babies dying before their first birthdays is three times that of white babies.

Despite Ohio's Efforts, More Black Babies Died Last Year

Dec 7, 2018
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Health officials say the number of infant deaths in Ohio decreased overall from 2016 to 2017, but racial disparities continued as deaths among black infants increased.

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The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital will use a $615,900 federal grant to continue efforts to combat infant mortality in Franklin County. 

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Infant mortality rates in Franklin County have declined slightly in recent years, but community and health leaders say more attention to the problem could bring better outcomes, especially for black children.