COLUMBUS – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced last week that the Ohio Department of Health, in partnership with the Governor’s Children’s Initiative has awarded $5 million to 44 community- and faith-based organizations to improve supports to pregnant women and newly parenting families.
“These resources will provide communities across the state with new funding to begin or expand services to help more babies reach their first birthdays and support healthy parents,” said Governor DeWine. “We are committed to reducing the unacceptable infant mortality rate in Ohio because all babies deserve a healthy start and an opportunity to grow and develop to their fullest potential.”
The goal of these resources is to provide funding to improve infant and maternal health outcomes. These dollars seek to strengthen the unique work of community- and faith-based organizations as trusted partners of Ohio’s pregnant women and new families. Funded organizations will reduce barriers to wellness for participants by providing resources and services that address gaps in existing maternal and infant systems and supports pregnant women and newly parenting families (up to 12-months postpartum).
Infant mortality is defined as the death of an infant before their first birthday. The infant mortality rate is the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births. Ohio infant mortality across was 6.9 per 1,000 live births in 2019, the same as it was in 2018. The Ohio and national goal is 6.0 or fewer infant deaths per 1,000 live births.
The 44 funded projects will begin January 1, 2022 and provide support to pregnant women and new families in 42 Ohio counties.
The YMCA of Northwest Ohio, which is listed as covering Lucas, Fulton, Defiance, Henry and Allen counties is listed as the recipient of $73,247.85. It will be used to empower women through intense case management which includes connecting moms with prenatal care early during their pregnancy; encouraging them to attend safe sleep classes; and supporting them in setting goals for their families that will increase their marketability, financial stability, and independence.
ProMedica and Bon Secours Mercy Health were among other recipients.