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Ohio Equity Institute

Family and baby

About the Ohio Equity Institute

Ohio Equity Institute 2.0
Working to Achieve Equity in Birth Outcomes

In 2018, Black infants in Ohio died at nearly three times the rate of White infants. The Ohio Equity Institute (OEI): Working to Achieve Equity in Birth Outcomes is a grant-funded collaboration between the Ohio Department of Health and local partners created in 2012 to address these racial inequities in birth outcomes. Population data is used to target areas for outreach and services in the nine counties with the largest disparities. A second iteration of the grant, OEI 2.0, launched on October 1, 2018. A new, more targeted structure was developed to ensure that the program addresses the biggest drivers of inequities in the population most vulnerable for poor birth outcomes and infant mortality.

OEI 2.0 Program Structure
SFY21 Grant Year

Program goal: To address the biggest drivers of inequities in poor birth outcomes and infant mortality in the nine counties with the greatest racial disparities. 

Understanding that clinical care only comprises 20% of modifiable factors that influence health outcomes, the objective of OEI 2.0 is for each OEI county to address racial disparities in perinatal, infant, and maternal health in two ways:

Downstream Strategy
Local Neighborhood Navigators identify and connect a portion of each county’s Black prenatal population to clinical and social services to reduce stress and improve access to resources needed for a new and growing family. Efforts prioritize non-traditional avenues of outreach designed and tailored to identify women where existing systems and programs do not currently reach. 

Upstream Strategy
Local entities facilitate the development, adoption, or improvement of policies and/or practices that impact the social determinants of health related to preterm birth and low birth weight, which often drive the inequities in birth outcomes within the OEI counties. Upstream efforts further focus on:

Reducing barriers for priority pregnant women to access clinical and social services by improving the quality, availability, and cultural competence of service delivery.

Working with local leadership and partners who can directly address identified barriers to a healthy pregnancy (such as housing, transportation, or food access) through the adoption or improvement of policies and/or practices.

Foundational Documents



Funded Entities

Map of Ohio highlighting counties that have an OEI 2.0 funded agency

  • Butler: Butler County Health Department

  • Cuyahoga: Cuyahoga County Health Department

  • Franklin: CelebrateOne

  • Hamilton: Hamilton County Health Department

  • Lucas: Lucas County Regional Health District

  • Mahoning: Mahoning County District Board of Health

  • Montgomery: Public Health- Dayton & Montgomery County

  • Stark: Canton City Health Department

  • Summit: Summit County General Health District